The Race to Power the Chevy Volt
Many of us have been watching with interset the race between LG Chem and A123 Systems to become the supplier of the GM Volt's battery system. After all, energy storage is currently the most crucial puzzle left to solve to make battery electric cars and plug-in hybrids viable. We need batteries that store as much power as possible, in a package as light as possible, with a useful life that is as long as possible, and of course, all that as cheaply as possible. That's a tall order.
According to Reuters, GM has picked LG Chem to supply lithium-ion batteries for its Chevrolet Volt. Read on for more details.
The deal would be for the first-generation Volt, so the battery supplier might change down the line (especially if someone else can drive costs further down).
The 400-pound battery pack designed for the the Volt is also expected to be the most expensive element of the rechargeable car and its single most important component.
The Volt is on track to become the first mass-market, plug- in hybrid when it is launched in 2010. It has also become a symbol of GM's effort to reinvent itself at a time when its sales are slumping and its ability to survive the downturn has come under scrutiny.
Some things still need to be decided, like how to split the warranty costs for the batteries. The official announcement should be made by GM in November.
One promising thing is that most of the Volt prototypes used the LG Chem batteries, and they have apparently been performing well, without major glitches.
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