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Bob Lutz and A123 CEO Dave Vieau

This morning at the Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, MI, General Motors Vice-Chairman Bob Lutz announced that they were promoting battery supplier A123 Systems from Tier 2 to Tier 1 supplier status. That means that A123 will effectively no longer just be a sub-contractor to other companies that do battery pack integration.

GM will now work directly with A123 systems on the development of their nano-phosphate lithium-ion battery chemistry for use in motor vehicles. A123 will still work with companies like Cobasys and Continental on pack integration for applications like the plug-in Saturn Vue hybrid and the Chevy Volt, which Lutz said he expects to be ready for sale by 2010. Check out the live blog post at AutoblogGreen as well as the announcement.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Sam , u think with this news that Cobasys is going to be out of the relationship ?
      what about johnson controls and saft?

      • 8 Years Ago
      REALITY CHECK: people please, remember, there is an ongoing "silent auction" being conducted by GM for bids from all the major oil companies in the world to buy the "Volt battery" technology patent. SHould say, Exxon win, development of the Volt will cease, and the technology will be buried in some warehouse.

      This is exactly what happen to the last GM electric car. But you can stop it from happening again. Write to Mr. Lutz and demand transparency. Ask that he publicly promise not to sell the Volt off to the highest oil company bidder...

      ...ask that he Open Source the Volt's battery technology under the creative commons license and share it will everyone for free.
        • 7 Years Ago
        You are naive if you believe the oil companies are the one who cause the EV1 to be terminated by GM.
        Even if it were true, A123 System today is working closely with GM and there is no way the oil companies will buy them out.
        • 8 Years Ago
        If GM pays to develop something, why should they share it with other manufacturers for free? That's not the way the free market works. I don't see Toyota sharing their technology with for free, nor should they.
        • 8 Years Ago
        I'll bet you also believe in Roswell. and the collapse of wtc bldg 7 when it wasn't hit by anything.
        • 8 Years Ago

        The fuel savings of the Volt will barely pay for the increased purchase cost of the car, if it does at all. Its not worth an oil company's money.
        • 8 Years Ago
        PSSSSSSST--- todd- wanna buy a Fish carbeuretor? I've got one in my garage I'll let go for a measly Hundred Grand. MPG of over 100, guaranteed! Maybe some documents that show how NASA faked the moon landing?
      • 8 Years Ago
      This was reported on the Blog a couple weeks ago, but got front page coverage in the Globe and Mail.

      Toyota is cancelling all its hybrid vehicles (except "maybe" the gas guzzling trucks they have), indefinately (they were kicking around numbers like 2015 as dates they could revitalize some if they get better battery technology fast).

      The story says they put all their eggs into the same basket as Sony with battery technology and have found out - basically - it is far too dangerous. Apparently, the batteries can go crazy and overheat and even explode, and there were big worries about damage to the batteries in a accident.

      Anyway, Toyota was charging a ton for people to use their technology -- so good luck to GM and their partners (which include BMW it said).
        • 8 Years Ago
        The batteries that have been overheating are Lithium-Cobalt. A123's batteries are Lithium-Phosphate, and they claim that thermal runaway is not an issue. There have been no reported problems with the A123 M1 batteries in the new DeWalt power tools, nor from the radio control helicopter hobbiests that have been dissassembling the DeWalt powerpacks to get the batteries and abusing the h*ll out of them.

      • 8 Years Ago
      This article missed about 90% of the info provided by Lutz this morning. BOTH battery suppliers will provide battery packs by October and there will be two slightly different VOLT chassis - one for each battery type. Street testing will begin before year's end and a decision will be made by June next year. It's quite obvious to those of us who are knowledgeable about the project that both battery supplier competitors (LG CHEM and A123 Systems) will have a battery that will meet GM's specs (15 year lifespan, voltage, weight, etc.). They both may likely become GM suppliers for the Chevy, Saturn and Opel versions. Lutz is now stating that the 2010 launch date is "firm." There is no more mention of "whether" and the Lordstown plant has been selected as build site.
      Head of GM Europe let that cat out of the bag last week,
      'talking about the Opel, which will preview in Frankfurt in October. The configuration of that vehicle (crossover, sedan, etc.), a VOLT sibling, is not yet known.
      GM is predicting sales of a million cars over the first few years. I think they may actually be underestimating demand, especially since Toyota made a 180 today and now say that their plug-in Prius will not launch until 2011, not 2008 or 2009, as previously claimed. As usual
      with electric cars - they are having battery problems, in that they don't have one that's suitable.
      GM has given the VOLT project carte blanche and the highest priority of any project in their history. Whatever the VOLT team wants, they get. Full details and up-to-the-minute news on the VOLT's progress can be found at www.gm-volt.com (not an official website). Don't
      pay attention to mostlye obsolete sources like this website, and others. They are almost always confused.
      Vehicle chief engineer Zielinki also stated that future versions will have a longer all-electric range.
      It looks like GM will lead the way in reducing emissions. The Tesla head, Eberhard, made another one of his typically mistaken claims the other day when he expressed skepticism that GM could produce the VOLT, at least not for $21K. Eberhard would find that GM would agree. Of course , they never claimed to sell the car for $21K, either. I wonder if Eberhard is still spouting his BS about his car's 250 mile range, now that the EPA has declared the range as "200 miles." Or the price of his battery pack?
      • 8 Years Ago
      @ all the people who have apparently forgotten what happen to GM last electric car, the EV-1, I ask you to play the part of GM.

      If Exxon offered you 5 billion in a one time cash payment for the Volt technology, would you sell it? Remember it will take 30 years for the Volt to generate that kind of money on a per unit mark up of five percent on the dealer's lots.

      Well? Make 5 billion in one day? Yes or no?

        • 8 Years Ago
        This car isnt about huge profits. I know that seems odd, but think for a second... The Volt was a concept only. It got such a huge reaction that they decided it was their chance to steal some of Toyota's green thunder. This car's only mission is publicity. It will establish GM as a truly worthy competitor in the green car arena, and you cant buy that kind of reputation. Not even for 5 billion. (Just ask Ford or Chrysler...)
        • 8 Years Ago
        The EV1 also cost GM about $80,000 per copy to make, yet they could only sell (lease) it based on a $30,000 price. They built it because California forced them to, not because it made sense. When Californai decided their EV mandate was stupid, GM got out of a money losing buisness.

        I would love for GM to build a similar car and sell it at the actualy cost. We'll see how many enironmentalists are willing to spend what it really costs to drive an electric.

        The Volt will also be a money loser, but GM figures it will be like the Prius, not profitable, but a huge marketing exercise.

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