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GM Awards Advanced Development Battery Contracts For Chevrolet Volt E-Flex System

General Motors has awarded two separate contracts for advanced development of lithium-ion batteries and packs for the electric drive E-Flex System used in the Chevrolet Volt.

One contract will go to lithium-ion battery supplier Compact Power, Inc. (CPI), based in Troy, Mich. CPI is a subsidiary of Korean battery manufacturer LG Chem. A second contract has been awarded to Frankfurt, Germany-based Continental Automotive Systems, a division of Continental A.G., a tier one automotive supplier that will develop lithium-ion battery packs using cells from A123Systems.

GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner made the announcement at the annual shareholder meeting today in Detroit. GM says that it continues to assess other solutions to quickly bring lithium-ion batteries to production.

GM selected the two companies out of the 13 technical proposals it considered to provide advanced lithium batteries for both range-extender electric and fuel cell variants of the E-Flex architecture.

The signing of these battery development contracts is an important next step on the path to bring the Volt closer to reality. 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.

—Rick Wagoner, GM Chairman and CEO

The E-Flex System was first shown as the plug-in battery electric propulsion system for the Chevrolet Volt concept vehicle at the North American International Auto Show in January. (Earlier post.) A plug-in fuel cell variant of the E-Flex system was shown at the Shanghai Auto Show in April. (Earlier post.) The “E” stands for electric drive; the “Flex” represents the architecture’s adaptability to be configured in several vehicle packages operating on various sources of electricity.

GM said that the suppliers chosen demonstrated solutions that best met the specific energy, power, mass and durability requirements for the battery in the E-Flex range-extender variant. The battery for the fuel-cell variant requires half the energy and power, but must be integrated and connected to the vehicle in a similar way.

This technology is developing rapidly. These contracts are an opportunity to deeply understand the differing battery technologies before making a production decision.

—Denise Gray, GM Director of Hybrid Energy Storage Devices

A123Systems recently introduced its new 32-series family of automotive-class, large-format Li-ion cells. The 32-series lineup initially consist of two cells with doped nanophosphate electrode designs, based on the same iron phosphate (LiFePO4) chemistry as the mass-produced M1 cell: the 32113 M1 Ultra for hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) and the 32157 M1 HD for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV). (Earlier post.)

A123Systems designed the 32157 PHEV cells to deliver the lowest cost per watt hour ($/Wh). The 32157 offers a volumetric density of 260 Wh/L, can deliver very high power at a lower state of charge with a 10+ year projected service life, and  has a projected cycle life of more than 7,000 cycles at 100% DOD, according to the company.

CPI makes large-format cells using a proprietary lithium manganese spinel (LiMn2O4) cathode with additives to improve calendar life under high temperature conditions.

CPI’s 12-month program with GM involves the development of battery cells and battery packs. LG Chem, CPI’s parent company, will develop and supply the cells, while CPI will focus on pack development and assembly including mechanical integration, thermal and electronic management and vehicle interface.

The CPI program will have three phases:

  1. Battery cell/module development and testing;

  2. Battery pack development and testing; and

  3. In-car integration and testing.

In work with the Department of Energy’s FreedomCAR initiative last year, CPI delivered a cell design that exceeded the FreedomCAR goal of 300,000 cycles. The company also has developed a patent-pending abuse tolerant separator (a membrane between the electrodes) that will further improve the performance of this cell design.

Recent test data shows that the company’s latest chemistry can achieve more than 15 years of calendar life in an automotive environment.

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Comments

Stan Peterson

This ould be taken as another step in building ghte infrastructure factories that are necessrry,before you cna build the vehicles based on components produce din them.

It si another signpost on teh hiway to elctried ground transport, greatly reduced needs for liquid fossil fuels, cleaner environments, and long term capacity for expanding the western long-lived lifestyle to the entire world's population in the next century.

And for those who are concerned about the psuedo religious aspects of CO2, it makes them happy too.

Great News all around!!

At least until the next trendy thing to artifically worry about comes along.

AB

Stan

I agree with you - everything you said in that post, including the words/sentences I could not comprehend.

Now do one thing quick - get out the yellow pages and find the local shrink - don't waste time.

wintermane

Good god stan are you ok? Your typing is almost as bad as mine!

As far as the next gen cars... I think many miss the simple fact that of all the power sources currently capable of powering a car for a week of normal driving.. or 2-3 days of long commutes.. only h2 manages to be totaly pollution free ON THE CAR SIDE. That is why many go for it.. all the headaches and compliance issues and in fact ALL issues for a fuel cell car are on the industry side.. thus the driver never need care or bother or worry.


And whenever a tech comes out where the problems are moved from the general populace and placed on bussiness.. it always wins. Because we all want the headaches to be someone elses.

wintermane

I watched a rather interesting show on cnn about a senario for an oil shock/terrorist attack.

Interesting stuff in it but the one fact that got my attension..

The genset volt is comming 2010. The batteries arnt there yet but gm is basicaly flinging ahead hoping the batteries are ready in time.

Kaku

The battery limitation is not the availability of batteries with sufficient storage capacity to weight ratios. The issue are:

1) Price. This is the age old dilemma of the chicken and the egg. To get the price down you first need volume production. This requires orders.

2) GM's insistence on 10 year battery life certification. This can be demonstrated theoretically but, depending on the proof GM wants, it can be difficult to prove practically.

wintermane

Well gm has 10 year 150k warranties so yup the battery must meet that.

The other issue IS weight. The batteries do weigh alot for a 25-40 mile ev range.

Still gmseems to think the battery companies can do it in time And gm has backup plans in case they dont. So the 2010 volt is almost 100% sure now.

Rich

The July 2007 issue of Popular Science featured an article on the Dewalt DC300 portable saw which is powered by A123Systems M1 lithium-ion battery pack. It is claimed these batteries can reach 80 percent of charge capacity in only five minutes, and last ten years. If this proves accurate, and suitable charging stations can be developed, then the Achilles heal of the electric car will be cured. Range, cost, and quick fill ups have always been the fossil fuel vehicle’s major advantages, with the M1 technology it appears those advantages may be effectively eliminated.

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Hallo! Es hat sich doch gezeigt, dass die 301 Umleitung einer minus-31 Domain nichts bringt weil die Seite auf die umgeleitet wird auch auf Platz 31 landet. Wenn nun jemand seine -31 Domain auf meine Domain umleiten wurde um mich als Konkurrenten zu argern, gabe es fur mich keine Moglichkeit diese Manipulation herauszufinden. Ich wurde ratseln was ich falsch gemacht hatte und dabei ist es nur ein Trick der Konkurrenz. Edit: Ich habe die Frage vergessen! Gibt es doch eine Moglichkeit herauszufinden ob jemand seine Domain auf meine umgeleitet hat?

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Joe

Everyone forgets so quickly that GM only gave us the electric vehicle, after the California Air Resource Board forced them to. Remember ? And they fought against it then also. Then, they took away the vehicles from the people that wanted them, and then they crushed them. Every last one. Anybody have their eyes open, or are we all blinded by the BS that GM is still giving us?

GM could have an all electric, consumer friendly, reasonable priced, vehicle, in as little as one or two years, all they have to do is start up production of the EV1, utilizing the lithium-ion battery packs. If GM told their suppliers they want it NOW, they'd sure be getting it soon.

Instead, all we get are promises, and excuses, and more BS. If we want an electric vehicle, we seriously need to pass laws requiring Detroit to give it to us.

Remember, a totally electric vehicle, would keep costs down by not adding on unnecessary extra parts, and truly would give us the most savings on carbon dioxide emissions.

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