LG Chem/CPI to Supply Volt Li-Ion-Batteries?


chevrolet_serien-volt_front_gm General Motors has chosen a unit of South Korea's LG Chem to supply lithium-ion batteries for its Chevrolet Volt and is working out the terms of a supply contract expected to be announced in November, two sources briefed on the project said.

Compact Power Inc, a Detroit-area based unit of LG Chem, and a partnership between Germany's Continental AG and U.S.-based A123 Systems have been in the race to supply the electric Volt with battery packs.

The Volt is on track to become the first mass-market, plug- in hybrid when it is launched in 2010. GM and Compact Power are now discussing the details of a commercial agreement, including how to split warranty costs for the batteries. Most of the Volt prototypes GM is testing are running with LG Chem batteries, the sources said, adding that the prototypes have continued to perform without any glitches.

Although LG Chem is now close to a final deal for the first-generation Volt battery, GM could opt to keep the Continental consortium doing battery development work for future versions in an effort to drive costs down and improve performance for the expensive batteries, the sources said.

A GM spokesman said no final decision on a battery supplier had been made and repeated the automaker expected to announce one by the end of the year.

GM is designing the Volt to run for 40 miles on a single charge and to be capable of being recharged overnight at a standard electric outlet. An on-board 1.4 liter gas engine will kick in on longer trips to generate power for the battery.

GM expects to manufacture 10,000 Volt cars in its first 12 months of production and to ramp that up to 60,000 a year over time. Last month, the U.S. government approved tax breaks of up to $7,500 for plug-in hybrids such as the Volt. 

(Source: Reuters)

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