|GM China Advanced Technical Center’s Cell Fabrication Lab in Shanghai recently produced its first batch of battery cells. Click to enlarge.|
General Motors China is fabricating and testing prototype battery cells and complete systems at its Advanced Technical Center in Shanghai to support GM researchers and engineers in the development of next-generation vehicle battery systems. These systems are expected to be more affordable for GM customers around the world and help GM expand vehicle electrification.
Researchers will be able to complete a series of processes, including battery material preparation, battery material coating, battery cell fabrication and battery cell performance testing. GM’s goal is to accelerate the development of batteries with improved energy density, allowing smaller overall system sizes and reducing costs.
With its battery material assessment capability, GM will be able to independently test and validate advanced materials provided by suppliers, apply innovative technologies to battery cell design and fabrication through collaboration with cell suppliers, and ultimately integrate battery cells into a system for integration in GM’s production lines.
The expanded capability will also pave the way for GM to build strategic partnerships with battery cell and cell material suppliers, and make purchasing decisions as a “smart cell buyer.”
The GM China Advanced Technical Center recently produced its first batch of battery cells using advanced fabrication methods, an important milestone in the establishment of its battery material assessment capability.
Producing the first prototype battery cells is a big step forward for the GM China Advanced Technical Center. It is critical for enabling GM to develop smaller, lighter and lower-cost new-generation batteries. Leveraging this success, the independent assessment system for battery materials will help speed up technical progress.—John Du, Director of GM China’s China Science Lab
Plug-in electric vehicles will play a critical role for the global auto industry to cope with issues related to fuel supply and environmental sustainability. China, the largest auto production and consumption market, has explicitly made alternative energy vehicle development a state strategy. China plans to significantly increase production of plug-in vehicles—including pure battery electric vehicles, extended-range electric vehicles, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles—by 2020. (Earlier post.)
GM says that its independent assessment system for electric vehicle battery material will accelerate this trend and advance development at GM and the Chinese auto industry.