LG Chem of Korea will be supplying the lithium-ion cells for the first generation Chevy Volts. The company was picked from an initial pool of 27 applicants in March 2007, eventually whittled down to 13 serious contenders. Finally, as announced in January they edged out A123 Systems in terms of preparedness and were awarded the contract for the cells that will launch the first Volts.
LG subsidiary Compact Power Inc. CEO Prahbakhar Patil has been in charge of developing the actual packs with GM, and will continue to partner with the automaker as GM takes over the assembly process on its own.
Patil told reporters that "there are no showstoppers" which would delay the launch at this point.
He also dismissed criticism about the expense of batteries and hence the Volt, claiming that "at $3 a gallon of gas, the payback is within five years." He also said CPI supplied GM 50 packs last year and will be supplying them 400 in 2009. GM has said they expect to build about 100 production prototypes prior to launch, although a few hundred more pre-production for a captured fleet are also expected.
Excitingly Patil said LG parent company in Korea has already begun the construction of the Volt’s dedicated lithium-ion cell assembly line. He said the cell line only needs to be running for about 6 months before the Volt is launched.
LG is currently capable of producing 40 million cells per month. Each Volt pack has between 200 and 300 cells. Eventually a US factory is expected.
Source (Detroit News )
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