There’s always a lot of talk about batteries these days. This week General Motors invited some of the media to the company’s Brownstown Battery Assembly Plant in Michigan for an update on GM’s battery packs. During the event it stated that GM may assemble packs in China someday.
Currently the facility assembles six different packs for nine different global GM products. The plant first started back when the original Chevrolet Volt launched, which that pack is still able to be produced at Brownstown to satisfy warranty replacements on the old Volt.
The facility also produces the pack for the upcoming plug-in hybrid version of the Cadillac CT6. In a bit of an unusual move, the pack is assembled here in the U.S. and then shipped to China to be installed in the CT6. GM says that may change in the future, primarily because of China’s “Made in China 2025” initiative.
Bill Wallace, GM’s director of global battery systems, told AutoBlog that China’s industry-focused effort to produce new energy vehicles in the country may push battery production to China. The “Made in China 2025” effort includes building several categories of next-generation products that include at least 70-percent domestically-sourced content. Alternative energy vehicles are one of the categories.
In the meantime, Brownstown will continue to build its six different packs. The six are actually provided by only two suppliers: Hitatchi and LG Chem. The Hitatchi unit is an air-cooled one, while the LG Chem pack is liquid-cooled.