General Motors is building a new 300,000-square-foot battery research facility in Michigan to help it achieve its mission to build electric vehicle batteries that last longer, charge faster and are more environmentally sustainable.
With this new hub, the company is paving the way for a battery technology breakthrough that will help it build electric vehicles that can travel up to 965 kilometers on a single charge — nearly twice the range of most electric vehicles on the road today.
The new facility is called the Wallace Battery Innovation Center after Bill Wallace, a battery engineer at General Motors who died in 2018.
The center is located in Warren, Michigan near the automaker’s 710-acre technical center headquarters in southeast Michigan.
GM won’t reveal how many engineers operate the center’s labs, and it won’t say how much money it pays. But expect it to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
The innovation center is the only one in North America that can use large cell prototypes, a meter wide or even larger, with standardized stacked electrodes, said Ken Morris, vice president of electric and self-driving vehicles.
Morris explained that the goal is to produce batteries with an energy density of 1,200 watt-hours per liter, a figure Doubted It has some experts. “This means that you can easily have a vehicle with a range of 965 km on a single charge, creating a new reality for our customers,” he added.
This is outside the stated scope of Ultium battery engineering. Which the company said allows a driving range of 650 kilometers or more.
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General Motors builds Wallace Center for Battery Innovation
When it was first announced. General Motors said it designs its Ultium batteries to be large, bag-shaped cells. Compared to the cylindrical cells used by Tesla and others. This allows them to be stacked vertically or horizontally within the battery pack, as the automaker sees fit.
The first generation of Ultium batteries makes their debut in the Hummer electric pickup truck. Which is scheduled to go into production next year.
The Wallace Center is created to develop future versions that are completely different from the current lithium-ion formula.
General Motors grew to become the largest automaker in North America on the back of combustion engines. It now needs to ramp up production of electric cars in order to become a carbon-neutral company by 2040. And achieve its goal of halting sales of light-fuel vehicles by 2035.
Thus, having a ready supply of batteries is a necessity, and a primary concern for GM’s future. The company had pledged to spend $27 billion developing and producing 30 new electric cars by 2025. Even redesigning its logo to look like an electric socket.
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