Saturday, 18 August 2012

electric car battery breakthrough

The team at General Motors China is hoping to make a significant breakthrough in the development of next generation battery systems for hybrid and electric cars as it begins testing prototype battery cells and systems in Shanghai.

It is believed that these systems have the potential to make batteries more affordable and assist with GM’s expanding vehicle electrification. It wants batteries that offer greater energy density and that will allow for smaller systems overall, while reducing costs.

Now researchers will be able to carry out a number of processes including battery material preparation, battery cell fabrication, battery material coating and battery cell performance testing. GM will also be able to test and validate materials from suppliers and apply innovative technologies to the cell design and fabrication.

Thanks to its expanded capability, GM hopes to establish new partnerships with battery cell suppliers and recently the GM China Advanced Technical Centre (pictured) produced its first batch of battery cells using these fabrication methods.

According to John Du, the director of GM China’s Science Lab, producing battery cells is a major step forward and critical towards allowing GM to develop smaller, lighter and low-cost batteries. He believes plug-in electric vehicles will play a key role going forward and that China, as the largest auto production market, is an obvious location at which to accelerate its battery development.

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