Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Posts Tagged ‘erevs’

LG Chem To Set Up Michigan Battery Plant

Will produce batteries for up to 200,000 electric vehicles.

by on Mar.12, 2010

The basic battery cells for the Chevrolet Volt will soon be produced in Michigan, not Korea.

Korea’s LG Chem will invest $303 million to set up a plant in Western Michigan to produce enough lithium-ion batteries to power as many as 200,000 electric vehicles annually.

The primary customer for the LIon technology will be General Motors, which last year chose LG Chem to provide batteries for the Chevrolet Volt, an extended-range electric vehicle, or E-REV, which GM plans to put into production this coming November.  But the size of the new plant, which will be built in Holland, Michigan, suggests LG could seek other customers, as well.

The announcement is significant for several reasons.  As part of the partnership they formed last year, GM and LG Chem set up a plant in suburban Detroit to assemble battery packs for the Volt, but the basic cells used in those packs have been coming from LG’s plants in the Far East.

Subscribe for Free!

Until now, the bulk of lithium-ion production has been based in Asia, primarily Japan, China and South Korea.  But with the auto industry ramping up plans for new battery cars – and with the Obama Administration offerings billions of dollars in loans and grants – production is begin to expand in the United States.


First Drive: 2011 Chevrolet Volt

Getting charged up by GM’s new battery car.

by on Jan.20, 2010 Publisher Paul Eisenstein gets a drive of the 2011 Chevrolet Volt.

Few automobiles have ever received the hype and hoopla of the Chevrolet Volt, but now, almost exactly three years after it first rolled onto the stage at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show, the critical question is whether the production version will live up to expectations.

Most folks will have to wait until later this year to find out; the 2011 Chevy Volt won’t officially reach showrooms until sometime during the fourth quarter of this year.  But after doing some pleading and offering up our first-born male child, finally landed the opportunity to drive a near-ready Volt prototype on a recent, bitterly cold Detroit morning.

We met Andy Farah, the project’s chief engineer, out at the Vehicle Engineering Center, or VEC, a towering blue facility that provides a commanding view of the sprawling General Motors Technical Center, in the Detroit suburb of Warren.  After sipping some tea and getting a quick “pre-flight” briefing, we eagerly jumped into the driver’s seat of the Volt prototype.

Hybrids and Plug-ins!

A little background is probably useful.  Volt is, at its heart, a gasoline-electric vehicle.  But it has some distinct differences from other hybrids, like Toyota’s popular Prius.  The Japanese model has a very small nickel-metal hydride battery pack that is primarily used to recapture energy lost during braking and coasting, power then reused during acceleration. Prius – ad other conventional hybrids — can only drive for short distances and low speeds on battery power alone.