General Motors has announced it will invest an additional $8 million to more than double the size of its advanced battery lab in Warren, Michigan. The expansion of the Global Battery Systems Lab on the GM Technical Center campus from 30,000 sq. ft. to 63,000 sq. ft. will be located adjacent to the existing facility and will see an area previously dedicated to engine development be renovated for battery work. Construction is slated to begin later this month and be completed in the summer. When operational, GM says it will improve on-site testing capabilities of all current and new battery cell, module and pack technologies.
"GM is building on its commitment to lead the development of electric vehicle technology - from battery cell design to the charging infrastructure - and today's investment furthers our work in this area," said Micky Bly, GM executive director, global electrical systems, hybrids, electric vehicles and batteries. "This addition will benefit consumers by helping us put cleaner, more efficient vehicles, including the Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended range, on the road more quickly and affordably." The expansion will add new capability in six key areas of battery development: Safety and abuse tolerance, buildup and teardown, manufacturing engineering, charger development and integration, thermal development and battery storage.
"We've made the commitment to design, develop, validate and manufacture automotive battery technology in-house," said Bly. "Consolidating these testing capabilities at the Global Battery Systems Lab will reduce costs, provide a competitive advantage, quicken the pace of development and ensure we will design, build and sell the world's best vehicles." To more fully leverage the potential of this expansion, the Global Battery Systems Lab equipment and test automation systems are being integrated with GM's existing global network of battery labs, including operations in Mainz-Kastel, Germany, and Shanghai, China, to facilitate seamless data exchange and work sharing.