LG Chem has been selected to supply the lithium-ion battery cells that GM will manufacture its Chevrolet Volt battery packs from.
In June 2008 General Motors' board of directors approved the production of the Chevrolet Volt, possibly the most talked about electric battery powered car ever. Production of the Volt is set to begin in 2010. Central to the Volt's high-tech image is its battery pack which enables the vehicle to run for 40 miles on pure electricity.
A partner has been approved to manufacture the battery pack's lithium-ion battery cells, GM CEO Rick Wagoner announced at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show. LG Chem will supply these cells from which GM will build its batteries at a facility in the US. Although GM's facility is not ready yet, LG Chem subsidiary by the name of Compact Power Inc. will manufacture the batteries for Volt prototype cars. The University of Michigan has also been pulled in to provide a special course devoted to battery engineering.
"The design, development and production of advanced batteries must be a core competency for GM," said Wagoner, "and we've been rapidly building our capability and resources to support this direction. This is a further demonstration of our commitment to the electrification of the automobile and to the Chevrolet Volt - a commitment that now totals more than US$1 billion."
The 16 kWh T-shaped lithium-ion battery measures about 6ft long (1.8 metres) and weighs roughly 400 pounds (181 kg). The majority of future GM cars are expected to run on this technology within the next few years.