2 firms making li-ion Chevy Volt batteries

June 5, 2007 at 9:31 PM

WILMINGTON, Del., June 5 (UPI) -- Two U.S. companies are developing lithium-ion batteries for General Motors' planned plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt, Chairman Rick Wagoner said Tuesday.

Wagoner also told the company's annual shareholders meeting GM would introduce four hybrid models this year.

Those models, announced earlier this year, are the gas-electric Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon sport utility vehicles, and hybrid Saturn Aura and Chevrolet Malibu sedans, GM said.

The companies contracted to design and the test lithium-ion batteries are LGChem Ltd.'s Compact Power Inc. of Troy, Mich., and Continental AG's Continental Automotive Systems of Auburn Hills, Mich., Wagoner said.

Lithium-ion batteries are rechargeable batteries commonly used in consumer electronics that are growing in popularity with the defense and aerospace industries because of their high energy density.

"Given the huge potential that the Volt and its E-flex system offers to lower oil consumption, lower oil imports and reduce carbon gas emissions, this is for sure a top priority program for GM," Wagoner said, adding the automaker wants to produce the Volt as soon as it can.

No timetable has been set for the concept car's actual production.

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