GM Makes First Electric Car Battery
General Motors has made its first mass-produced electric car battery as it gears up to sell the new Chevrolet Volt to the general public later this year. The lithium-ion battery was made at GM’s Brownstown Battery Pack Assembly Plant that will produce the batteries for the automaker’s Volt assembly line in Detroit. Regular production at both facilities is expected to begin in the fourth quarter. It was just five months ago that GM announced it would invest $43 million to convert the empty 160,000-square-foot facility into a production ready battery-manufacturing plant.
GM Chairman Ed Whitacre Jr. had told reporters Wednesday that GM will send out some Volt models before November, when they are scheduled to hit showrooms. He said the company might sell a few early, and it could send some to consumers before November. GM has plans to test about 100 with utility companies before the showroom debut. This idea of the Volt should be great, even like the looks. The battery is of poor design. We see that it is one 5 foot long battery, and as most know, to be buried between the seats.
It won’t last forever and when it comes time to replace it, half the car needs to be disassembled. Unless of course there is some sort of access hatch, but at 5 feet long, should be doubtful. It will not be easy to move one, lift one, etc. It’s not a one person job. On top of that, when one part of it malfunctions the whole thing needs to be replaced, which is incredibly wasteful and costly. They now cannot sell auxiliaries. If the battery was split into 3 batteries and “stacked” otherwise known as “daisy-chained” they could sell extra cells. They’d be more manageable, affordable, and I’d prefer to drive with spare battery cells that I can swap out on the side of the road, after lunch, a rest area, etc. That would also double it’s electric endurance form 40 miles to 80 on a single charge and single battery swap. I realize that’s still pathetic in the face of the cross-country vacation concept, but the car isn’t meant for that anyway. I’d rather swap batteries when I get home and charge the spares in case of bad weather, construction or other delays the following day.