The factory will use lithium-ion
battery cells shipped to the US from LG
Chem in South Korea and assemble them into battery packs. The
battery pack will be the most crucial element for the
Chevrolet Volt, which is scheduled to go into production at the
Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant late next year. GM has been testing
battery packs using cells from LG Chem since August of 2006.
"The design, development and production of advanced batteries
must be a core competency for GM, and we've been rapidly building our
capability and resources to support this direction," stated GM's
former Chairman Rick Wagoner last year.
"This is a further demonstration of our commitment to the
electrification of the automobile and to the Chevrolet Volt - a
commitment that now totals more than $1 billion."
Chevy Volt, which GM
claims can achive 230 mpg in city driving, is one of General
important new products as it tries to shift
to electrified vehicles.
The close proximity to the Volt
assembly plant was a major factor in choosing the location, as
was the ease of conversion into its new role. The new facility is
expected to create over 100 new jobs when it begins production next
LG Chem's CEO Peter Kim has previously stated that it
may produce lithium-ion battery cells in Michigan if there is enough
demand. That would be additional good news for Michigan, which is
suffering from an unemployment rate in excess of 15 percent.