General Motors (GM) announced Monday that South Korea's LG Chem will supply the lithium-ion batteries for the automaker's upcoming plug-in hybrid vehicle, the Chevy Volt.
In 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 soon, with the production tooling installed by midyear to support actual production in 2010. While the GM plant 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 weighs nearly 400 pounds and is T-shaped, with the longer part measuring about 6 feet in length. To support GM's advanced battery efforts, the automaker also plans to build an automotive battery laboratory in Michigan.
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.
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, which is the type commonly used for large electric appliances. The North American International Auto Show opens to the public on Saturday and continues through Jan. 25. See the NAIAS website for more information.