After a press conference the day before where every new, exciting and award winning GM vehicle was paraded before the media, the General’s second North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) press conference featured a sparse stage populated only by the upcoming Checy Volt and GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner.
Wagoner announced that the battery packs that will be used in the company’s upcoming plug-in hybrid Volt will be manufactured in the United States. The 31,000 sq.-ft. facility (roughly the size of GM’s display at the Detroit Auto Show) will be built in Michigan in 2009 with output of the battery packs in 2010.
The lithium-ion battery cells for the Volt will be provided by LG Chem and LG Chem’s subsidiary, Compact Power Inc., (based in Troy, MI) will build the battery packs until that facility is operational.
The production facility is, however, just the beginning of GM’s commitment to hybrid-electric power, which to date is a commitment of over $1 billion. General Motors will work with the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering to develop a battery lab to develop new battery designs.
The Chevy Volt and the Voltec hybrid-electric system (which can power the car for 40 miles on zer0-emissions electric power before switching over to a conventional hybrid system) will begin production in late 2010 to go on sale in 2011.