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GM Inks Another Big Battery Car Deal

Following deal with A123, GM will also partner with LG Chem on battery car development.

by on Aug.25, 2011

GM CEO Dan Akerson and LG COO Juno Cho sign a new battery car development deal.

Even as skeptics question the market potential for the groundbreaking Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, General Motors is charging into the battery world with the latest in a series of deals aimed at making it a leader in electric propulsion.

The maker will expand its current alliance with Korean battery supplier LG Chem, the two partners saying they will work together on the development of new electric vehicles.  Precisely what type of products they hope to bring to market remains to be seen, but GM has already announced it will launch more Volt-based plug-ins, including a new model for Cadillac.  And, using batteries from LG Chem’s rival, A123, the Detroit maker is expected to launch its first pure battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, in 2014, reported earlier this month.  (For more on the A123 project, Click Here.)

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“Many solutions for tomorrow’s transportation needs may be available more quickly by building on our partnership strategy,” said GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky. ”Consumers benefit by getting the latest fuel-saving technology faster if we work with the best suppliers and we save time and money in the development process.”


GM Does Deal With A123 – Will Launch 1st Pure Battery-Electric Vehicle in 2014

Maker ties up with A123 for next-gen lithium battery.

by on Aug.11, 2011

GM is fleet testing a prototype Chevy Sail battery-electric vehicle in China.

General Motors has inked a deal with U.S. battery supplier A123 – a deal that well-placed sources say confirms the maker’s plans to put at least one battery-electric vehicle into production by 2014.

The maker has a separate deal with LG Chem to produce lithium-ion batteries for its Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid.  The Korean maker beat out A123 for that contract and is now in the process of setting up a new factory to produce Volt batteries near Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Production of the Volt is now ramping up and, along with the similar Opel Ampera, GM hopes to produce as many as 60,000 plug-ins next year.

The new alliance will focus on an entirely different range of vehicles, GM spokesman Kevin Kelly hinted.  “It is not for the Volt or the next-generation Volt.  This is for a different application, but we can’t get into what this is for or the timing.”


While Kelly declined to comment, GM sources noted that the maker now hopes to expand into a broad range of “electrified” vehicles, from conventional hybrids to plug-ins and pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs.  The A123 batteries will be utilized for the latter group.

Precisely what is in store is unclear, though there could be battery-electric models sold through “multiple brands,” according to sources.  The first of the BEVs is expected to reach market by 2014.