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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, TheDetroitBureau.com 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.”

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Indiana Aiming to Be EV Central

Why Think thought Indiana was the right site.

by on Apr.07, 2010

Think-ing of you. The Norwegian maker will open an Indiana assembly plant next year.

When the Norwegian electric vehicle maker, Think, started looking for a site to build a U.S. assembly plant, it was deluged by offers from states and communities lined up coast-to-coast.  In the end, it chose the Northern Indiana town of Elkhart for the plant, which will begin rolling out a version of the Think City two-seater next year.

These days, any deal that can deliver jobs and investments is likely to be greeted with gusto – and the offer of government assistance, and the Think project was no exception.  In the end, state and local officials cobbled together a package of assistance worth $43 million for the battery car maker.

That certainly didn’t hurt, admits Think CEO Richard Canny, not for a long-struggling company that had just emerged, a few months earlier, from bankruptcy proection.  But even with what he describes as a “competitive” package of incentives, the executive says that wasn’t the clincher when it came to choosing Elkhart.  “You don’t choose a location just based on incentives,” Canny explains.

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What sold Think was the fact that Elkhart had a pool of experienced labor – workers who were more than happy to get a good-paying job considering that the region’s traditional manufacturing base, the recreational vehicle, or RV, industry, has all but collapsed – along with an existing battery car infrastructure.

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GM Investing $246 Million in Electric Motor Plant

Motors new “core competency” as battery cars gain momentum.

by on Jan.26, 2010

Simple, perhaps, but an electric motor, like this disassembled one, could be critical to winning in tomorrow's battery car market.

With battery technology likely to play an increasing role in the auto industry, General Motors will invest $246 million to set up a plant producing the motors needed to run tomorrow’s electric vehicles, the company plans to announce at this week’s Washington Auto Show.

GM would be the first domestic automaker to produce its own hybrid electric motors, and one of relatively few worldwide.

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Final details, such as the location of the plant, won’t be announced until later this week, but GM officials say that motors must become a “core competency” for the company, much like internal combustion engines are today.  (more…)

GM Dedicates 1st U.S. Auto Lithium Battery Plant

Detroit facility could produce 70,000 LIon packs annually.

by on Aug.14, 2009

The GM Subsystem Manufacturing facility in suburban Detroit will be the first high-volume automotive lithium-ion battery manufacturing site in the U.S.

The GM Subsystem Manufacturing facility in suburban Detroit will be the first high-volume automotive lithium-ion battery manufacturing site in the U.S.

General Motors Corp. plans to have the capacity to build as many as 70,000 battery packs at its new battery assembly plant outside of Detroit.

Fritz Henderson, GM president and chief executive officer, said GM’s plans call for not only using the lithium ion battery packs in the Volt but also in other vehicles.

“We will start hiring relatively soon,” he said after unveiling GM’s plans for the renovated 160,000-square-foot space at I-75 and King Road in Brownstown Township. Henderson said GM’s timetable calls for prototype production to start the first part of 2010. Thus, GM is prepared to begin the hiring process, he said.

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The plant could eventually operate on three production shifts, building as many as 70,000 battery packs.

“Developing and producing advanced batteries is a key step in GM’s journey to become the leader in electric vehicles,” Henderson said. “The state-of-the-art battery manufacturing site reinforces our commitment to achieve the goal and to deliver clean fuel-efficient vehicles to our customers,” he said.

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