GM invests $4.2 million in Ann Arbor-based lithium-ion developer

2011 Chevrolet Volt

With its sights set on the future of the auto industry, GM”s $100 million venture capital arm made its second investment this week, when it acquired a small stake in a Michigan battery manufacturer. GM invested $4.2 million on Wednesday in Ann Arbor based Sakti3 Inc. The equity stake GM is receiving has yet to be disclosed.

Earlier this year, the company was able to raise $7 million in new capital, and was the recipient of a $3 million award with the University of Michigan.

“GM Ventures is making strategic investments in new technology to support our core automotive business,” said Jon Lauckner, president GM Ventures, LLC. “Our objective is to identify start-up companies that offer the best future technology for our vehicles, including next generation propulsion systems. In this case, our investment in Sakti3 gives us access to an innovative battery technology that has the potential to be a mainstream solution for electrically-driven cars and trucks of the future.”

Last month, GM Ventures LLC made its first investment when it sunk $5 million in Indiana based Bright Automotive, in order to help speed production of the IDEA, a plug-in hybrid commercial vehicle that the company hopes to launch in 2013 or 2014.

– By: Stephen Calogera