The 33,000 square foot lab at GM's Technical Center in Warren will aid the testing and development of automotive batteries and technologies used in plug-in, hybrid, fuel-cell and electric extended-range vehicles such as the Chevrolet Volt.
"This lab is an indication Michigan is going to be the place we intend and aspire to be the place where these breakthroughs occur," Gov. Jennifer Granholm said today.
The Global Battery Systems Lab, the country's largest, is GM's latest push to emerge as a leader in a technology area that promises to reduce dependence on foreign oil.
1,000 engineers, along with students from the U of M, will continue the work that GM had already begun at labs across the country. We still have the promise that they will manufacture these batteries here as well.
GM plans to select the battery plant site by the end of June with production starting in early 2010. The Detroit automaker initially will rely on foreign-made batteries for the Volt after announcing a partnership in January with South Korea-based battery maker LG Chem. Batteries eventually could be produced in the U.S.
Now, how about that "small car" plant. Would be a waste to ship all these batteries out-of-state, wouldn't it?
UPDATE: WXYZ reports on the announcement, with an interview with Fritz Henderson.