GM Awards Lithium Ion Battery Development Contracts / 2 Suppliers Chosen to Work on Batteries for Saturn Vue Green Line Plug-in Hybrid SUV

Geschrieben am 04-01-2007

Detroit (ots) - General Motors Corp. today announced it has
awarded advanced battery development contracts to two suppliers to
design and test lithium-ion batteries for use in the Saturn Vue Green
Line plug-in hybrid SUV.

One contract has been awarded to Johnson Controls - Saft Advanced
Power Solutions, LLC, a joint venture between Tier 1 automotive
supplier Johnson Controls and Saft. Another agreement was signed
with Cobasys, based in Orion, Mich., a joint venture between Chevron
Technology Ventures LLC, a subsidiary of Chevron Corp., and Energy
Conversion Devices, Inc. Cobasys will work in partnership with
A123Systems, a privately held company based in Watertown, Mass., to
develop lithium-ion battery technology.

According to Denise Gray, GM's newly appointed director of hybrid
energy storage systems, the companies will be challenged to prove the
durability, reliability and potential cost at mass volumes of their

“Thanks to critical relationships with the U.S. government,
collaborative research with Ford and DaimlerChrysler under the United
States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC), significant progress has
been made in battery research,” said Gray. “But a lot of testing and
development is still needed. Together, with our suppliers, we intend
to address the issues relating to thermal management, storage
capacity, recharge times, driving range and cost reduction.”

The two test batteries, one from Cobasys - A123Systems and the
other from Johnson Controls - Saft, will be evaluated in prototype
Saturn Vue Green Line plug-in hybrids beginning later this year.
While both are lithium-ion batteries, the chemistry differs
significantly. The suppliers also use unique methods in the design
and assembling of the battery packs.

Johnson Controls, Inc., headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., had
sales of $32 billion in fiscal year 2006 and employs approximately
136,000 people. Johnson Controls' power solutions business provides
more than 110 million starter batteries globally each year. Saft,
headquartered in Paris, employs 4,000 people and had annual sales of
more than $700 million in 2005. Saft and Johnson Controls formed the
battery joint venture last year. Now, more than 150 people work for
the joint venture, based also in Milwaukee. Saft is a world leader in
high performance batteries and has a decade of experience in
lithium-ion development and manufacturing. Saft provided lithium-ion
batteries for the Chevrolet Sequel fuel cell concept vehicle.

Cobasys has facilities in both Michigan and Ohio with
approximately 400 employees dedicated to the design, manufacture and
integration of advanced energy storage systems for both
transportation and stationary power markets. Their headquarters
features one of the world's largest Energy Storage System development
and test facilities required for the validation of battery systems.
Cobasys is presently supplying nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) systems
for the Saturn Vue Green Line hybrid SUV and will be supplying NiMH
systems for the 2007 Saturn Aura Green Line hybrid sedan.

A123Systems, which employs 250 people, was started in 2001 to
commercialize technology developed at the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology (MIT). A123Systems has quickly grown to be one of the
world's largest suppliers of high power lithium-ion batteries. By the
end of 2007, A123Systems will have the annual capacity to make 20
million lithium-ion batteries for use power tools. It also sells
batteries for stationary backup power, jet engine auxiliary power
units and hybrid trucks and buses.

GM will be actively looking for more partners to bring lithium-ion
technology to production. “It's important to point out that these
two agreements are by no means the only avenues we're pursuing,” Gray
said. “We are fully committed to forging the necessary partnerships
to produce battery solutions that will meet our aggressive vehicle
program targets.”

GM announced Nov. 29 at the 2006 Greater Los Angeles Auto Show its
intention to produce a Saturn Vue Green Line plug-in hybrid that has
the potential to achieve double the fuel efficiency of any current
SUV. In addition to plug-in technology and a lithium-ion battery
pack when ready, the Vue Green Line will use a modified version of
GM's 2-mode hybrid system, powerful electric motors and highly
efficient electronics to achieve significant increases in fuel

GM is co-developing the 2-mode hybrid system with DaimlerChrysler
and BMW Group for use in front-, rear- and four-wheel drive
applications in an array of car and truck models. The 2-mode system
debuts later this year in the Chevrolet Tahoe/GMC Yukon Hybrid SUVs.

General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world's largest automaker,
has been the global industry sales leader for 75 years. Founded in
1908, GM today employs about 318,000 people around the world. It has
manufacturing operations in 33 countries and its vehicles are sold in
200 countries. In 2005, GM sold 9.17 million cars and trucks
globally, up 2 percent and the second-highest total in the company's
history. In Europe, GM sells its Opel, Vauxhall, Saab, Chevrolet,
Cadillac, Corvette and Hummer ranges in over 30 markets. It operates
11 production and assembly facilities in eight countries and employs
around 62,560 people. More information on GM and its products can be
found at http://media.gmeurope.com and http://www.gmeurope.com.

Originaltext: General Motors (GM Europe)
digital press kits: http://presseportal.de/story.htx?firmaid=59428
press kits via RSS: feed://presseportal.de/rss/pm_59428.rss2


Brian Corbett
GM Hybrid Communications
Office: 248-857-0323
Mobile: 586-612-6569
E-mail: brian.corbett@gm.com

Scott Fosgard
GM Powertrain Communications
Office: 248-857-0239
Mobile: 586-899-2582
E-mail: scott.fosgard@gm.com

Andrew Marshall
GME Technology Communications
Office: +49 (0) 6142-7-73815
Mobile: +49 (0) 171-2213605
E-mail: andrew.marshall@de.gm.com


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