Despite Americans being known to be suckers for things like a large SUV ‘hybrid’ weighing over 2 tonnes, next year’s Detroit Auto Show (set to be held mid-January 2010) will have a special 37,000 square foot section called Electric Avenue devoted entirely to electric cars. Electric Avenue will be sponsored by Dow Chemical Co, a battery supplier who has EV batteries in the works.

So far a mix of both regular nameplates in the industry as well as new EV startups (seems like getting into the electric car business is quite easy given the accessibility to ready-made components like motors and batteries) have signed up and a total of 20 different cars will be displayed. Will we see Detroit Electric there? You can be sure for Renault to be there with some of their EV cars which use the Nissan Leaf’s EV powertrain.

A JV between Dow Chemical and South Korean company Kokam Engineering recently receiveda US$161 million grant to develop these EV batteries and build them at a $665 million 800,000 square foot facility consisting of an R&D center and production plant in Michigan.