General Motors has greatly increased the size of its Global Battery Systems Laboratory, North America’s largest OEM-owned battery lab. The 85,000-square-foot lab now has 112 pack-level test channels and 120 cell-level test channels.
The added space will let the company test batteries and computer controls much faster than before. It took GM about four years to develop the Volt and bring it to market – the company’s goal is to develop EVs twice as fast, according to Doug Parks, GM’s VP of global product development.
GM also operates battery labs in Shanghai, China, and Mainz-Kastel, Germany. Teams at all three labs work collectively to test battery systems around the clock to reduce validation time.
“In the past four years, the competitive landscape in the electrification space has grown exponentially. This has required us to raise our game and draw a new line in the sand,” said Parks. “To maintain our battery leadership, this additional real estate is filled with new capability that will help us improve speed to market for our next generation of battery systems.”
Parks told the Associated Press that GM is working on a new EV (in addition to the next-generation Volt) that will have a range of 200 miles and an MSRP of about $30,000. He wouldn’t say when or such a car might go into production.
GM has taken a different approach from Tesla, Parks said, producing more affordable EVs, albeit with shorter ranges. “[Tesla’s] pricing is up there for a real unique customer,” Parks said. “The real trick will be who can do a 200-mile car for more of the price range I’m talking about. We’re all in races to do that.”
Source: GM, AP