GM just announced today that two development contracts were awarded for battery technology related to the E-Flex electric architecture that will underpin the Chevrolet Volt. One contract will go to lithium-ion battery supplier CPI-Compact Power, Inc. that is a subsidiary of Korean battery manufacturer LG Chem. A second contract has been awarded to Frankfurt, Germany-based Continental Automotive Systems, a division of Continental A.G., a tier one automotive supplier that will develop lithium-ion battery packs. GM also stated that will continue to assess other solutions to quickly bring lithium-ion batteries to production. The two companies will be acting as the battery systems integrators for the E-flex program. Continental will be using lithium ion cells provided by A123 Systems while Compact Power is using LG Chem cells. During the course of the one year contracts the two integrators will supply complete energy storage systems including thermal and charge management for the production development of vehicles based on the new E-Flex platform that is the basis of the Volt.
The Chevrolet Volt was awarded by auto-future "Concept Car of the Year", back in January. Yes, at the beginning of the year, just to show how we believe this concept is important! Hopefully, in 2 to 3 years we will be awarding the production version of the Volt Car of the Year. Hopefully, because if you noticed that the word "development" above was highlighted in bold, this means that these are not production contracts yet.