General Motors has nearly tripled the size of its Global Battery Systems Laboratory in Warren, MI. The lab is where it tests and validates both battery cells and packs for all of GM's vehicle electrification systems, including the battery systems for the Chevrolet Volt, Cadillac ELR, Chevrolet Spark EV and GM's eAssist light electrification system.
GM is expanding the lab with an additional 50,000 square feet as the automaker gets ready for the introduction of the Cadillac ELR and other future electric models. "In the past four years, the competitive landscape in the electrification space has grown exponentially. This has required us to raise our game and draw a new line in the sand," said Doug Parks, GM vice president, global product programs. "To maintain our battery leadership, this additional real estate is filled with new capability that will help us improve speed to market for our next generation of battery systems and help us improve the value equation to our customers around the world."
In addition to the expansion, news continues to circulate that GM is working on a 200-mile range EV that will go head to head with Tesla. Tesla is the only automaker that builds an EV with a range over 200 miles, but The Wall Street Journal is reporting that GM is working on an electric car that will have a range around 200 miles and a sticker price in the $30k range. According to GM, the technology is available now, but the cost of the batteries is still too high.
Tesla's cheaper Model-E electric car is expected to arrive by 2016, which will have a 200 mile range and a starting price somewhere in the $30k range. Will GM's rival be out by then? We'll have to wait and see...
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