GM Opens the Doors to Revamped Battery Lab in Warren

9/19/13Follow @XconomyDET

This week, General Motors announced it has tripled the size of its Global Battery Systems Laboratory in Warren, MI. The facility is now the largest North American battery lab owned by a major auto manufacturer.

Greg Ross, GM’s director of business development alliances, says that even though wireless connectivity seems to be dominating the conversation when it comes to new auto technology, GM’s electrification program still plays a major part in the company’s R&D efforts.

“Connectivity is important to electric [vehicles] because it makes them work better,” Ross notes. “You can do things like charge control and remote interaction.”

GM has added 50,000 square feet to the lab, bringing its total size to 85,000 square feet. The lab tests battery cells and packs for all of GM’s electrified vehicles. It also works on building prototype battery packs and acts as the hub of all battery testing for current and future GM vehicle models.

What teams at the lab are charged with right now, Ross says, is ensuring that current car models in the electrification program continue to lead in the battery sector; researchers will also continually look for ways to improve GM’s batteries, he says.

Though it may seem as though batteries and battery-powered automobiles have been slow to catch on with consumers—Ross says low gas prices had a lot to do with that—GM continues to work tirelessly on refining its battery technology, he adds.

In addition to the lab in Michigan, GM also operates battery labs in Shanghai, China, and MainzKastel, Germany.

Sarah Schmid is the editor of Xconomy Detroit. You can reach her at 313-570-9823 or sschmid@xconomy.com. Follow @XconomyDET

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