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GM Awards Battery Contracts for Chevy Volt

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GM Awards Advanced Development Battery Contracts For Chevrolet Volt E-Flex System
Contracts Mark Important Step in Developing Range-Extender and Fuel Cell E-Flex Variants
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WILMINGTON, Del. – General Motors has awarded two contracts for advanced development of lithium-ion batteries for its electric drive "E-Flex System," it was announced today at GM's annual shareholder meeting.

GM selected two companies out of the 13 technical proposals it considered to provide advanced lithium batteries for both range-extender electric and fuel cell variants of the E-Flex architecture. The E-Flex electric vehicle architecture underpins the Chevy Volt concept car shown earlier this year and is being developed as part of GM's strategy to diversify transportation away from petroleum.

One contract will go to lithium-ion battery supplier Compact Power, Inc., based in Troy, Mich. CPI is a subsidiary of Korean battery manufacturer LG Chem. A second contract has been awarded to Frankfurt, Germany-based Continental Automotive Systems, a division of Continental A.G., a tier one automotive supplier that will develop lithium-ion battery packs. GM continues to assess other solutions to quickly bring lithium-ion batteries to production.

"The signing of these battery development contracts is an important next step on the path to bring the Volt closer to reality," said GM Chairman and CEO, Rick Wagoner. "Given the huge potential that the Volt and its E-Flex system offers to lower oil consumption, lower oil imports, and reduce carbon emissions, this is a top priority program for GM."

The E-Flex System was first shown as the plug-in battery electric propulsion system for the Chevrolet Volt concept vehicle at the North American International Auto Show in January. A plug-in fuel cell variant of the E-Flex system was shown at the Shanghai Auto Show in April. The "E" stands for electric drive; the "Flex" represents the architecture's adaptability to be configured in several vehicle packages operating on various sources of electricity.

These suppliers demonstrated solutions that best met the specific energy, power, mass and durability requirements for the battery in the E-Flex range-extender variant. The battery for the fuel-cell variant requires half the energy and power, but must be integrated and connected to the vehicle in a similar way.

"This technology is developing rapidly," said Denise Gray, GM director of hybrid energy storage devices. "These contracts are an opportunity to deeply understand the differing battery technologies before making a production decision."

The signing of these advanced development battery contracts for the E-Flex system is the latest proof point in GM's effort to transform the industry by diversifying automotive transportation away from petroleum with a range of propulsion alternatives. These include:

A diverse lineup of hybrid models now in production, including:
  • The GM diesel hybrid electric system for large city buses
  • The Saturn Vue and Saturn Aura Green Line hybrid models
  • Coming this fall, models of the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon SUVs that feature the world's first use of the 2-Mode hybrid system, providing a more than 25-percent improvement in fuel economy to what is already the industry's most fuel-efficient full-size SUVs.
  • Due next year is a front-wheel-drive 2-Mode hybrid Saturn Vue Green Line, with plans to make a plug-in version of the Vue that has the potential to achieve double the fuel efficiency of any current GM SUV.

In May, GM completed the longest fuel cell-vehicle demonstration drive in history with the 300-mile drive of the Chevrolet Sequel. It is also a leading producer of E-85 capable bio-fuel vehicles, with more than two million on the road. Additionally, GM provides more vehicles that achieve 30 mpg highway than any other manufacturer in the U.S. market. GM is also the first automotive member to join the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), a group of global companies and non-governmental organizations formed to support an economy-wide, market-driven approach to reducing carbon emissions.
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I personally cannot wait for these vehicles to hit the market. Please, GM - make them right the first time...the world is watching. There will not be a second chance for a good impression here.

I know I will be looking at them, as my collective driving needs average only around 60 miles per day. My wife's car as well.

In the meantime...how about a nice Diesel Vue or Equinox that will deliver city 30 mpg like a VW? Or the new Malibu? PLEASE????

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I like the idea that with the E-Flex system, the actual power source can be pretty much anything. I just hope there isn't too much power loss through the system itself. I also hope this elaborate powertrain won't come at too much of a premium.

These are pretty lofty goals to hit. If GM can reach them, then they'll have a hit. If not, they won't get that #1 spot back any time soon...

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Can I PLEASE ORDER UP A Escalade Hybrid! :D I could go for a Diesel with Lithium Ion battery packs that gets me 30+ miles in the city riding in Style. :D

Edited by dfelt
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Any word on how much GM is contributing towards development?

It would be very excellent if GM is providing a major cash infusion that could speed up the process of developing the batteries it will take to make long-range electric cars possible.

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:scratchchin: I thought I saw just recently a tv spot on a builder that was finishing up proto type Lithium Ion batteries that would get 300 to 500 miles depending on the auto they were used in. ANyone else remember seeing a show on battery progress for auto's?
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umm... didn't the EV1 get almost 150-200 miles on a charge?

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