GM Plans to Spend $30 Million on Volt Battery Plant

Although sales are not encouraging at all due to the credit crunch, General Motors  seems not to give up its hope for a better future where electric cars will bring a change in the product-line of the Detroit car manufacturer.

The lawmakers' incentive plan to have lithium-ion car batteries made in Michigan is highly accompanied by GM as the Detroit automaker appears to be ready to invest no less than $30 million in its planned US plant, Reuters reported. According to the head of GM's flagship Chevrolet brand, the plant is going to build  next-generation batteries for its all-electric Chevrolet Volt. The vehicle is designed to run 40 miles on a single battery charge and it's meant to bring a change in GM's product line.

"We chose Chevy because we can't be niche with the Volt. We have to make it a mass-production vehicle," Ed Peper, North American vice president of GM's Chevrolet brand, said at the Automotive News World Congress in Detroit.

The facility is planned to open in Michigan in 2010 and will assemble lithium-ion battery cells manufactured by South Korea's LG Chem Ltd into 400-pound packs, which will power the electric Volt.

More importantly, Peper blamed the lack of credit for their poor sales. As a matter of fact, GM had to shift from GMAC, which was its main financing partner to a bank holding status in late December. The move was regarded as a “big boost” for the Detroit automaker.

"We are starting to see credit loosen up slightly, not that much yet, but it is particularly important at the low end of the market," Peper said.

GM believes that electrically driven vehicles offer the best long-term solution for transportation. We have no doubt about the utility of such vehicles but we are waiting to see if that's going to be the rescuing solution for the Detroit car maker.
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