GM battery research in China leading to affordable electric cars
With all the uproar over Wanxiang's rescue of A123 Systems, there's another piece of battery manufacturing news in China that is worth considering. GM China has begun manufacturing prototype battery cells at its Advanced Technical Center in Shanghai. The move enables GM researchers to work on developing next generation vehicle battery systems, but also underscores the size of GM's operations in China and that company's collaboration with SAIC, one of China's largest automakers. The work at this center also validates recent statements by GM's CEO Dan Akerson over longer range electric cars.
In December 2011, GM announced the Advanced Technical Center, then under construction, would be ready to begin full operations in July 2012. The ATC first opened in September 2011, as one of GM's network of technical centers around the world. The company described the ATC as "the most comprehensive advanced automotive technology development center in China." Researchers at the ATC will work with the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC), an already existing facility jointly owned by GM and SAIC, and the ATC will contain these labs: China Science Lab, Vehicle Engineering Lab, Advanced Powertrain Engineering Lab and Advanced Design Center.