Chevrolet Volt update: GM awards 2 contracts for battery development

They say actions speak louder than words and GM is all about taking action on the development of the Chevrolet Volt after much criticism. Reports started making headlines in late March that the Volt may never see the light of day due to advances in battery technology and other obstacles.

Even though manufacturing capacity for the lithium-on batteries is limited, GM has been meeting with suppliers all around the world. “There are very few suppliers in the world that not only understand how to put those cells together, but know how to manufacture those cells,” Jim Queen, GM’s group vice president of global engineering, told Automotive News.

After having workshops to let the suppliers know exactly what they need to produce the Volt, GM has awarded two development contracts for the batteris. One went to Cobasys LLC, a suburban Detroit maker of nickel-metal hydride batteries, and the other went to a joint venture between Johnson Controls Inc. and French battery. GM will begin evaluation of the batteries later this fall.

GM originally unveiled the Volt concept at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show. The car is said to have a charge time of 6.5 hours offering 40 miles on battery alone and has a 640 mile range with a full tank of gasoline. It is expected to make its production debut in 2010.

Chevrolet Volt at the 2007 NYIAS Gallery:


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