In 2009, at the Tech Center, Warren, Mich., we opened the Global Battery Systems Lab. It was then the country’s largest battery lab owned and operated by an OEM. For me it was a momentous and exciting day. The lab was built to help develop the Chevrolet Volt, and other electrified vehicles. We knew that having in-house battery expertise was critical to GM being a leader in the EV market.
In addition to Volt battery development, the lab played a key role in the development of the batteries for our eAssist technology, as well as the Spark EV and soon-to-be-launched Cadillac ELR.
Within the past four years, the EV landscape has changed dramatically, and we’ve raised our game to stay ahead of the competition. Today we unveiled the latest expansion of the battery systems lab, nearly tripling the size of the original lab to a total of 85,000 sq. ft. This secures GM’s position as the OEM with the largest battery lab in North American.
We’ve also added new capabilities to help us improve the reliability, safety and quality of our future EV battery systems. These new capabilities will help us to meet the challenges of reducing battery system cost, improve speed-to-market and help us expand our EV technology in new markets around the world.
Just as the past several years have seen competitive pressures increase, the next five to ten years are going to see those pressures rise even more. Just this past week during the Frankfurt Motor Show, three new EV concepts were revealed.
It’s critical for GM to maintain its leadership in the development of advanced battery systems and the expanded lab, in addition to our satellite labs in Germany and China, will help us to do exactly that.
The lab expansion has been a true team effort that stretches from our senior level leaders to all of our technicians who work every day to test and validate advanced chemistries and pack designs. I am very proud of what our team has achieved in the lab in the past four years and I look forward with anticipation to see where the future takes us.