This truly historical milestone day takes place exactly three years to the date after the Chevrolet Volt concept car was unveiled to the world, and marks the beginning of Chevrolet Volt production.
In attendance are US Energy Secretary Steven Chu, GM Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre, and Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm.
This is the first production pack to be built at what GM calls the first lithium ion battery pack manufacturing plant in the U.S. operated by a major automaker.
The site is minutes from Detroit airports where the raw lithium cells will be delivered from LG Chem’s plant in Korea. After the packs are assembled at this facility they are then hauled to the Detroit-Hamtramck plant where the Volts will be assebled. Production there is set to begin in March. LG Chem also plans to begin building a lithium-ion cell factory in Michigan beginning later this year
GM invested $43 million in developing this battery assembly plant, at a site chosen a year ago and where construction work first began last summer.
The facility is 160,000 square feet and divided into three primary assembly areas: battery module pre-assembly, final assembly and the battery pack main line.
Each Chevrolet Volt pack contains 16-kWh of lithium-ion cells of which 8 kwh is usable. There are 288 3.5 volt cells placed into 4 to 6 groups known as modules. The T-shaped pack is about 6 feet long, weighs 200 kg and operates at 360V.
According to Volt director Tony Posawatz the facility “is capable of producing all requirements for VOLT vehicles and has the bandwidth to grow capacity in the future.”
It employs 100 workers though most of the assembly process is automated using robotics.
Placing this historical event on the world’s stage is yet another chapter in GM’s commitment to transparency about the Volt program that also began on that January day 3 years ago. I would like to give special thanks to GM’s Rob Peterson of Volt communications for being that architect of transparency and for his countless hours, months, and years of dedication to it. Rob has been a crucial behind-the-scenes support to my efforts here at GM-Volt.com as well.
And on this day our country takes a major leap forward into a future free from oil.
PRESS EVENT VIDEO:
VIDEO OF PACK ASSEMBLY
This entry was posted on Thursday, January 7th, 2010 at 7:15 am and is filed under Battery, Production. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.