General Motors has signed a contract calling for lithium-ion batteries to be supplied by A123 Systems for use in the automaker's future electric vehicles. GM says A123's advanced Nanophosphate lithium-ion batteries will power "future GM electric vehicles to be sold in select global markets." Currently, GM gets batteries for the Chevrolet Volt from LG Chem – the automaker's 2010 Corporation of the Year.
Jason Forcier, vice-president of A123, told Automotive News that the deal calls for "thousands to tens of thousands" of battery packs. Furthermore, Forcier says A123's team of engineers will have some of the GM-specific packs ready by the end of 2012 and that the first undisclosed vehicle using the A123-supplied packs will launch sometime after that. The lithium-ion units will be manufactured at A123's facility in Livonia, MI.
Forcier declined to identify the vehicles involved in the deal and wouldn't disclose whether or not they were of the electric-only or plug-in hybrid variety. However, The General's press release clearly states, "electric vehicles." But, as we should all know by now, GM's broad definition of an electric vehicle includes the plug-in hybrid Volt and even hydrogen-powered cars.
Nanophosphate® lithium ion will power future electric vehicles
DETROIT – General Motors has awarded a production contract to A123 Systems, a developer and manufacturer of advanced Nanophosphate® lithium ion batteries and systems, for batteries to be used in future GM electric vehicles to be sold in select global markets.
The contract includes advanced Nanophosphate cells and fully integrated electronic components. The specific vehicles and brands will be announced at a later date.
GM battery engineering teams have tested and validated the A123 battery chemistry at the automaker's Global Battery Systems lab in Warren, Mich. Teams from both companies will now work on developing calibrations and software controls for the battery system in preparation for production.
"GM is committed to offering a full line of electrified vehicles - each of which calls for different battery specifications," said Micky Bly, GM's executive director - Global Electrical Systems, Infotainment and Electrification. "We work with a variety of battery developers and A123's advanced Nanophosphate lithium ion technology offers ideal performance capabilities for a future electrified vehicle application."
This agreement builds on existing development contracts between GM and A123 focused on next-generation lithium ion battery technology at both the cell and system level.
"Today's announcement is the latest milestone in the partnership between GM and A123, and it showcases the type of collaboration between U.S. companies necessary to build a long-term domestic battery and electric vehicle industry," said Jason Forcier, vice president of the Automotive Solutions Group at A123 Systems.
"This is a testament to GM's continued commitment to leading the adoption of vehicle electrification technologies, and we believe that our selection as GM's supplier for this global vehicle program validates our system-level expertise in delivering fully integrated battery packs for electric vehicles."
About General Motors – General Motors (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM), one of the world's largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 208,000 people in every major region of the world and does business in more than 120 countries. GM and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 30 countries, and sell and service these vehicles through the following brands: Baojun, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Daewoo, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall, and Wuling. GM's largest national market is China, followed by the United States, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, and Italy. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. More information on the new General Motors can be found at www.gm.com.
About A123 Systems
A123 Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: AONE) develops and manufactures advanced lithium ion batteries and battery systems for the transportation, electric grid services and commercial markets. Headquartered in Massachusetts and founded in 2001, A123 Systems' proprietary nanoscale electrode technology is built on initial developments from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. For additional information please visit www.a123systems.com.