More on the upcoming GM/Continental lithium batteries

Like some other automakers, GM is teaming up with a battery supplier, Continental, to develop lithium ion batteries for their range of vehicles. Continental makes all kinds of auto parts, although they're best known for making tires. The Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra Hybrids already have a hybrid powertrain sourced from Continental, but the announced agreement will work on lithium-ion batteries which are more efficient.
The press release specifically speaks about the Chevy "E-flex" powertrain, which is part of the Volt. This architecture is flexible, in the sense that many configurations will be available whether it's all electric, hybrid or even with a fuel-cell.

Full press release after the jump.

[Source: Continental via]

Continental Automotive Systems and General Motors to co-develop LithiumIon Battery Technology

Energy Storage Systems for the GM Chevrolet "E-Flex" electric vehicle propulsion system.

Detroit/Berlin/Frankfurt am Main, Germany, June 21, 2007. Continental Automotive Systems announced that General Motors has awarded it a co-development contract to design and build prototype Energy Storage Systems for the GM Chevrolet "E-Flex" electric vehicle propulsion system. In an effort to speed the time-to-market of the production batteries required for General Motors modular propulsion architecture the companies will jointly explore various aspects of lithium ion battery technology.

Continental has more than 10 years experience developing automotive-grade batteries and is scheduled to deploy the lithium technology in a production vehicle next year. The new co-development contract with GM is another example of Continental's hybrid-electric vehicle strategy, which is focused on partnering with automakers to identify new ways to meet the global demands for greater fuel efficiency and reduced emissions in new vehicles.

"In 2003 Continental and GM pioneered the first production hybrid drivetrain for full-size trucks in the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra Hybrids," said Karlheinz Haupt, Head of Continental Automotive Systems Electric Drives business unit. "We're excited to extend our relationship and begin working with GM on a new, ground-breaking electric vehicle program that will not only contribute to clean and efficient engines, but also will provide significant fuel-economy savings and reduce the level of CO2 emissions. With the existing energy storage know-how of the Berlin hybrid development center Continental Automotive Systems is ideally positioned to cope with future electric propulsion architectures."

The Chevrolet Volt "E-Flex" electric vehicle propulsion system has the ability to adapt from a pure battery electric with range extension (using an advanced internal combustion engine as a generator) all the way to a fully functional fuel cell electric vehicle.

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