At its annual shareholder meeting today, GM announced that it has awarded two contracts for advanced development of lithium-ion batteries for its E-Flex electric drive architecture. The signing of these two contracts puts GM one step closer to putting the eagerly awaited Chevrolet Volt on the roads.
“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,” said GM Chairman and CEO, Rick Wagoner.
The contracts were awarded to Michigan-based Compact Power Inc., a subsidiary of Korean battery manufacturer LG Chem., and to Continental Automotive Systems, a division of Continental A.G.
The first version of the E-Flex system shown in the Volt at the Detroit Auto Show this year allows the electric-hybrid car to get as much as 150 mpg. This second variant of the E-Flex system, which was unveiled at the Shanghai Auto Show, uses GM”s new fifth-generation fuel cell propulsion technology and a lithium-ion battery to provide up to 300 miles of petroleum- and emissions-free electric driving.
GM also said that it will introduce four new hybrid models this year including hybrid variants of the Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon, Saturn Aura and the new Chevrolet Malibu sedans.
Also in the works for next year is a plug-in version of the Satrun Vue that has the potential to achieve double the fuel efficiency of any current GM SUV.
Chevrolet Volt at the 2007 NYIAS Gallery:
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