And now (finally) some good news for Michigan: GM is making good on an announcement made last August that it will invest $43-million in a 160,000-square-foot dedicated facility for the production of lithium-ion battery packs for the Volt and other electric vehicles with extended-range capabilities in Brownstown County, MI.
The plant, part of a subsidiary of General Motors called GM Subsystems Manufacturing LLC, has been converted from an empty facility to a production-ready battery manufacturing site in just five months. Primary assembly areas now include new machinery and specialized equipment, including battery module pre-assembly, final assembly and a battery pack main line, part of an overall production line which will include plants in Warren, Bay City, Flint and Detroit-Hamtrack, the assembly location for the much-anticipated Chevy Volt.
“This is an important milestone for GM – and a critical step in bringing the Chevrolet Volt to market,” said GM Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre, in a statement. The Volt is an electric vehicle with extended-range capability, designed to drive up to 40 miles on electricity and utilizing a flex-fuel engine-generator seamlessly to extend the total driving range to about 300 miles before refueling or stopping to recharge the battery. Regular production for the 2011 Volt is set to begin in the fourth quarter of 2010.