Despite its widely publicized financial woes, General Motors is still going full speed ahead when it comes to developing and releasing the Chevy Volt and related battery technology. Thus far, LG Chem has been selected to supply the Lithium-ion (Li-ion) cells for the Volt, but GM plans to utilize the expertise of other companies such as A123Systems, Hitachi Ltd., Compact Power and Cobasys to assist with cell development and manufacturing. GM intends to manufacture the Volt's battery packs at a forthcoming battery lab in Michigan -- the largest in the nation -- that will serve as a center for Li-ion and nickel-metal hydride battery testing. To keep this "in-house" battery development moving, plans also call for an increase in staff in 2009, which means adding to the current 200 engineers that are already working on the project. To further cement GM's commitment to battery development, the automaker is joining with the University of Michigan to come up with a specialized battery engineer curriculum for their College of Engineering.