GE Backs Plug-in Hybrids to the Tune of $55 Million

A123 Plug-in Hybrid System Photo

Photo by Lisa Williams
General Electric (GE) has announced their intentions to boost their initial $30 million investment for the manufacture of the lithium-ion battery, up to $55 million with a sixth contribution. This news makes them the single most largest corporate or personal investor involved in the production of the A123 hybrid battery system, with over 9 percent ownership in the project as of now.GE is not just taking a backseat as a monetary donor, they have also opened their Global Research lab located in Niskayuna, NY, to help further the design of the batteries systems and their components. The news hits us as the A123 hybrid battery system loses the race against LG Chem to be the exclusive supplier of the much anticipated GM Volt. None-the-less, A123 continues to work with 18 other hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles, including the Th!nk EV.

The A123 system prides itself with its much boasted advancements in nanotechnology, which provides robust power, lightweight packaging, improved safety (not prone to overheat), and a reasonable manufacturing costs. Their current goal is to provide these vehicles with at least a 40 mile range per charge, which they have deemed more than adequate for the average daily commute to work and back. They are also in the development of a new dual battery energy storage system.

GE has pledged to improve clean energy technologies over the next 5 years by doubling their current total investment in various projects from $700 million to $1.5 billion. With such large corporate profiles jumping on the bandwagon for electric, we can only hope that our future in oil dependency will be on a downward decline in the years to come.

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