GM announced today that they will be doubling the size of their electric battery testing lab with an investment of $8 million. The Global Battery Systems Lab — which is the largest automotive battery testing facility in the US — will balloon from 30,000 square feet to 63,000 square feet. The cash will go toward building a new structure as well as repurposing areas for battery development that were previously used for engine testing.
GM has been rocking our presses lately with announcements of upcoming electric vehicles — like the Chevy Volt. They are going to use the new testing and development facility to work on technology that can be used in longer-range electric vehicles. They currently have a team of 1,000 engineers working in the lab and that number is sure to grow with the new floorspace. They will use the new areas to find ways to use space inside vehicles previously occupied by engines, explore new charging technologies, develop battery storage and research thermal technology.
“GM is building on its commitment to lead the development of electric vehicle technology – from battery cell design to the charging infrastructure – and today’s investment furthers our work in this area,” said Micky Bly, GM executive director of global electrical systems, hybrids, electric vehicles and batteries. With this investment GM is putting their money where their mouth is. With their recent electric vehicle announcements we’re apt to believe they’ve got some great technology to test in their new facility.