GM announced it is hastening the speed of its development of electric vehicles in China, where it will build and sell the Chevrolet Sail Springo EV.
The new model will add to the Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in electric that is already on sale in China, a country very interested in developing electric cars. “China has made electrification a key strategy. Electrified vehicles will play a critical role in efforts to conserve and ultimately displace petroleum as the major source of transportation energy,” Jon Lauckner, GM chief technology officer and vice president of global research and development was quoted as saying by the Detroit Free Press.
GM China opened an advanced materials lab in Shanghai in September 2011 dedicated to battery technology and lightweight material research where workers can build cells for lithium-ion batteries.
According to Lauckner, GM wants to help develop lithium-ion batteries to make them smaller, lighter and cheaper than they are at the moment. On the long run, GM said there is potential to double the energy density of vehicle battery packs.
GM announced plans in early November to build 500,000 electrified vehicles a year by 2017, including plug-in EVs, pure EVs, mild hybrids with eAssist technology and full hybrids.