The first Chevrolet Volt battery moves through the assembly process

The first Chevrolet Volt battery

Brownstown Township, Michigan – General Motors has manufactured the first advanced lithium-ion battery for its Chevrolet Volt extended-range vehicle at a facility in Michigan, exactly three years to the day that the Volt concept made its debut.

The plant, Brownstown Battery Pack Assembly Plant, was produced through a US$43 million investment to prepare the landfill-free facility for production of lithium-ion battery packs for the Volt and other extended-range electric vehicles. The plant is part of a wholly-owned GM subsidiary called GM Subsystems Manufacturing LLC. The plant was converted from an empty facility to a production-ready manufacturing site in just five months.

Initial battery production will be used to validate the plant’s equipment and processes, with batteries sent to GM’s lab in Warren, Michigan for testing. This spring, the company will start shipping batteries to its plant in Detroit-Hamtramck, the assembly location for the Volt, for use in production validation vehicles. Regular production at Brownstone and Detroit-Hamtramck is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Earlier this week, Chevrolet and OnStar also unveiled the auto industry’s first working smartphone application that will allow Volt owners 24/7 connection and control of vehicle functions and OnStar features remotely.

OnStar’s Mobile Application allows drivers to communicate with their Volt from Droid by Motorola, Apple iPhone, and Blackberry Storm smartphones. It uses a real-time data connection to perform tasks from setting the charge time to unlocking the doors.

The application will include such features as charge status, percentage of battery level and total range, the ability to set grid-friendly charge modes for off-peak times, display fuel efficiency, and remotely start the vehicle.

Traditional OnStar features such as door lock and unlock, remote horn and remote lights, which have typically only been accessible through a call to the OnStar centre, will now be available through the application.

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