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GM To Open US Lithium-Ion Car Battery Pack Plant In Mich

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WhiteTara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-12-09 10:57 AM
Original message
GM To Open US Lithium-Ion Car Battery Pack Plant In Mich
Source: cnn.money

General Motors Corp. (GM) will establish the first lithium-ion battery-pack factory operated by a major auto maker in the U.S. to produce battery pack systems for its Chevrolet Volt plug-in electric car.

GM is looking to the much-hyped Volt to do what the Prius hybrid did for Toyota Motor Corp. (TM) - give the auto maker a must-have technology while cultivating a green image.

Preparation for the plant, to be located in Michigan, will begin in early 2009, with production tooling to be installed mid-year and output starting in 2010.

Until GM's battery facility is operational, Volt's battery cells will be supplied by LG Chem Ltd.'s (051910.SE) Compact Power Inc. unit, which is based in Troy, Mich. A joint engineering contract with Compact Power and LG Chem is expected to speed up development of the Volt's lithium-ion battery technology. GM has been testing battery packs for the Volt, powered by cells from LG Chem, for the past 16 months, with tests - both on the road and in the lab - providing "invaluable insight into lithium-ion battery technology."
snip
Batteries have been one of the biggest hurdles for U.S.-based electric and hybrid vehicle manufacturers. Batteries have been made in volume in Japan, Korea and elsewhere in Asia, and auto makers have been concerned that if battery supplies tighten, expensive Asian battery-making capacity may go to Asian auto makers first.

Read more: http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/djf500/200...



gobama!
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-12-09 11:00 AM
Response to Original message
1. I hope hope hope they get this RIGHT. It's such an opportunity. NT
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BootinUp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-12-09 11:12 AM
Response to Original message
2. I guess these things are made in cleanrooms
should be a sizable investment in manufacturing, good to see.
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KansDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-12-09 11:13 AM
Response to Original message
3. "Batteries have been one of the biggest hurdles for U.S...."
Why?

I've often wondered why batteries are such a "hurdle" for US manufacturers. I mean, we put a man on the moon but our battery-technology sucks?

It's not like we didn't see this coming. Ever since the 1970s, we knew oil dependence was an iffy proposition. But we are just now figuring that out?
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-12-09 11:16 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. E-N-V-I-R-O-N-M-E-N-T-A-L R-E-G-U-L-A-T-I-O-N
Sorry to interrupt your bashing of US industry with facts.

Where does Toyota make its batteries, by the way? Alabammy? :hi:
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AndyTiedye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-12-09 11:17 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Because If You Get it Wrong, Lithium Batteries Explode
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tridim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-12-09 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #5
19. I know an RC pilot who burned down his garage charging a Lithium Polymer battery.
You're supposed to charge them in steel ammo boxes or little sand bunkers.

I've never had one explode, but I've come real close. One pack swelled to about twice its size before I noticed it. $74.00 down the drain. :(

I'm sure this issue can be avoided with better charging circuits.
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-13-09 10:51 AM
Response to Reply #5
22. Yep, that was my first thought
It's kind of hard to get away from quickly if you're on an interstate, or in a tunnel...
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Wapsie B Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-12-09 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. Exactly.
With all the technology that's come out of places like Silicon Valley or MIT making car batteries is a problem? Maybe to some clueless MBA who's hell-bent on making the quarterly numbers look good, but not the people who actually bring new ideas down the pipepine.
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-12-09 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. So which company in Silicon Valley is making Lith. Ion batteries in the US for the car industry?
<crickets>
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Wapsie B Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-12-09 12:08 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. So the technology doesn't exist anywhere in the US to make batteries,
whether it be in Silly Valley or otherwise?

Note-buy a humility card.
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-13-09 07:15 AM
Response to Reply #11
21. Sorry to harsh your mellow with reality. nt
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RiverStone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-12-09 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #3
18. more here...
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Unca Jim Donating Member (405 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-12-09 11:43 AM
Response to Original message
7. Harder than you think...
Edited on Mon Jan-12-09 11:46 AM by Unca Jim
As an official electric car dork (I commute in my self-converted 1964 VW Bug) I can assure you that making a battery pack for an electric car is not easy.

In short, you need a battery that can hold a tremendous amount of power and can also dump it out quickly. I don't want to get too technical and bring in the Peukert effect, but internal resistance kills efficiency here. You need a small number of big cells instead of lots and lots of little generic cells chained together like they get by with in a Prius. They also need a battery that will last 100,000 miles, and is not so physically fragile that it can't take bouncing around in a car for 10-20 years.

That battery didn't exist until GM and their partners designed it.

Do I think we can build millions of electric cars this decade? Hell yeah! We got to the freakin' moon, this is much simpler.

But it isn't going to be easy.

Still, I'm in. I'm #4 on the waiting list at my local dealership, so I should have a Volt in 2010 or 2011!



EDITED: Whoops! I misspelled Peukert.
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quidam56 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-12-09 11:47 AM
Response to Original message
9. NA$CAR should get on board with this technology,
it would make green jobs for the folks who are loosing their jobs and would be good for the brands. http://www.wisecountyissues.com Europe already has a super cell race car, what happened to good ole American ingenuity ?
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whistle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-12-09 11:49 AM
Response to Original message
10. Is this part of the Federal bailout package?
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leftchick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-12-09 12:18 PM
Response to Original message
12. why not use the technology GM already Killed
they had a fantastic electric car that they destroyed. Why not assemble that great group of people involved with the EVA and bring it back?
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WriteDown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-12-09 12:32 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. You mean the buggy one that was incredibly expensive to
produce? And it didn't even use Li-on technology? No thanks.
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-12-09 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. ?
why not just use li batteries and ungrade the design of the car?
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WriteDown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-12-09 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. Not that simple.
This is a totally different battery supply and interface. My understanding is that you can charge this one from a regular outlet. The EV-1 required a special charging station, etc.
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WriteDown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-12-09 02:24 PM
Response to Reply #12
17. The truth about the EV-1
And this is from the editor of Edmunds.com.

http://blogs.edmunds.com/karl/2006/06/gms-ev1----who-ki...
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Waiting For Everyman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-12-09 01:04 PM
Response to Original message
14. Good news!
:) I hope it's the beginning of more to come.
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blue_onyx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-12-09 04:58 PM
Response to Original message
20. Great news for Michigan/Detroit
It's expected that this company will create 14,000 jobs (possible 50,000 over 5 years). A123Systems will also "build a factory in southeast Michigan to produce lithium-ion batteries for hybrids and plug-in hybrid vehicles." So nice to hear good economy news for my state.
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