GM to Buy Lithium-Ion Batteries for the Chevy Volt from LG Chem
January 14, 2009
General Motors Corporation (GM) announced on January 12 that South Korea's LG Chem will supply the lithium-ion batteries for the automaker's upcoming plug-in hybrid vehicle, the Chevrolet Volt. In mid-2007, GM awarded a battery development contract to Compact Power, Inc. (CPI), a subsidiary of LG Chem, under which LG Chem developed the lithium-ion batteries and CPI integrated them into battery packs. However, GM has decided to build the battery packs itself at a U.S. manufacturing plant to be located in Michigan. Facility preparations will begin in the near future, with the production tooling installed by mid-year to support actual production in 2010. While the GM facility is being prepared, CPI will continue to manufacture the battery packs for the Chevy Volt prototypes. The Chevy Volt's 16-kilowatt-hour battery pack is T-shaped, with the longer part measuring about six feet in length, and it weighs nearly 400 pounds. To support GM's advanced battery efforts, the automaker also plans to build an automotive battery laboratory in Michigan. See the GM press release and the 2007 press release from CPI (PDF 110 KB). Download Adobe Reader.
GM's aggressive Cadillac Converj Concept features Cadillac's signature grill design, although most of the grill is not actually functional. Enlarge this image.
GM also provided tangible evidence that it plans to extend its plug-in hybrid technology to additional vehicles, as it unveiled a new concept plug-in, the Cadillac Converj, at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, Michigan. Incorporating the propulsion system from the Chevy Volt—the battery pack, the 120-kilowatt electric motor, and the four-cylinder engine-generator, collectively dubbed the "Voltec" electric propulsion system—the Cadillac concept vehicle has an all-electric range of 40 miles and a top speed of 100 miles per hour. The two-door, front-wheel-drive coupe recharges in eight hours using a standard 120-volt outlet, or in only three hours using a 240-volt outlet, the type commonly used for large electric appliances. The NAIAS opens to the public on January 17 and continues through January 25. See the GM press release and the NAIAS Web site.