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New battery pack was designed in-house and uses LG Chem cells

General Motors is looking to quickly advance its efforts in battery development and production for its electric vehicles. The company is capitalizing on those efforts this week with the announcement that the 2015 Chevrolet Spark EV will receive a lighter lithium-ion battery pack.
The current Spark EV makes use of a 21-kWh battery pack that was developed by A123 Systems. This time around, however, General Motors designed the battery pack in-house using 192 lithium-ion cells provided by LG Chem. Weighing in at 474 pounds, the new battery pack is 86 pounds lighter than before.

Despite the slight downgrade in storage capacity from 21-kWh to 19-kWh, General Motors says that the Spark EV’s EPA-rated range and MPGe remain steady at 82 miles and 119 MPGe respectively.

Spark EV battery line at the General Motors Brownstown Battery Assembly Plant
The Spark EV is priced at $27,495 before a $7,500 federal tax credit. Depending on where you live in the United States, that figure could drop even further thanks to state credits and rebates. For example, residents in California could qualify for a $2,500 state rebate on the purchase of a Spark EV. That would bring the overall cost of the vehicle down to $17,495 compared to $12,170 for the base, gasoline-engine version of the Spark.

Source: General Motors

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RE: Does not compute...
By cokbun on 5/15/2014 9:42:49 AM , Rating: 4
by lowering the weight

RE: Does not compute...
By spamreader1 on 5/15/2014 9:52:58 AM , Rating: 2
Each cell weighs less too. So they reduced weight in 2 ways, reduced the weight of each cell, AND reduced the number of cells.

RE: Does not compute...
By SublimeSimplicity on 5/15/2014 10:02:03 AM , Rating: 2
That's may point though. That should have effected the MPGe as lowering the weight would have improved the car's efficiency.

RE: Does not compute...
By Iridium130m on 5/15/2014 11:28:19 AM , Rating: 3
They may be discharging the batteries deeper than the original packs...that'd be the only way they'd get the same range and keep the efficiency the same...e.g. still using the same amount of KWh, just leaving less in reserve because the LG batteries may be able to handle deeper discharges.

RE: Does not compute...
By Samus on 5/15/2014 11:39:00 AM , Rating: 2
They probably aren't affecting the cell chemistry. Weight savings could come from the pack design, reinforcement (maybe that shifted from steel spaces to Kevlar\Nomex spacers?) and the containment structure.

But at the same time, if they reduce the curb weight, they can slightly reduce the pack amp capacity and still maintain the same range (at least in city driving.)

RE: Does not compute...
By Mint on 5/15/2014 4:52:40 PM , Rating: 1
86lbs is not going to let you use 10% less charge to go the same distance, and even if it did, MPGe would change.

The only possibility for a smaller pack having the same range and MPGe is that GM feels more comfortable using a fuller depth of discharge with the LG cells than the old ones.

Either that, or they made efficiency improvements but didn't bother updating MPGe, which I find unlikely.

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