WARREN, MI - General Motors said it is doubling the size of its advanced automotive battery lab in the U.S. to expedite the development of electrically driven vehicles for consumers.
The $8-million investment will improve on-site testing of all current and new battery cell, module and pack technologies by enlarging the Global Battery Systems Lab on the GM Technical Center campus by 30,000 sq. ft. to 63,000 sq. ft. The addition will be located adjacent to the existing lab inside the Alternative Energy Center facility.
Areas previously used for engine testing will be renovated for battery development, with construction beginning this month and scheduled for completion in the summer.
"GM is building on its commitment to lead the development of electric vehicle technology -- from battery cell design to the charging infrastructure -- and today's investment furthers our work in this area," said Micky Bly, GM executive director of global electrical systems, hybrids, electric vehicles and batteries. "This addition will benefit consumers by helping us put cleaner, more efficient vehicles, including the Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended range, on the road more quickly and affordably."
GM's Global Battery Systems Lab began operations in January 2009 and became fully operational in May 2009. It is used by GM's growing team of more than 1,000 engineers working on advanced batteries and electrically driven vehicles. More than half of the current lab is dedicated to testing the electrochemical battery cells and their enclosures, known as modules. The lab's remaining floor space is committed to evaluating completed battery packs.
"We've made the commitment to design, develop, validate and manufacture automotive battery technology in-house," said Bly. "Consolidating these testing capabilities at the Global Battery Systems Lab will reduce costs, provide a competitive advantage, quicken the pace of development and ensure we will design, build and sell the world's best vehicles."
The Global Battery Systems Lab equipment and test automation systems are being integrated with GM's global network of battery labs, including Mainz Kastel, Germany and Shanghai, China, to facilitate seamless data exchange and work sharing, GM said.