General Motors made its first mass-produced electric car battery Thursday as it gears up to sell the new Chevrolet Volt to the general public later this year.
The lithium-ion battery was made at GM's Brownstown Battery Pack Assembly Plant that will produce the batteries for the automaker's Volt assembly line in Detroit. Regular production at both facilities is expected to begin in the fourth quarter.
GM Chairman and interim CEO Ed Whitacre Jr. told reporters Wednesday that GM will send out some Volt models before November, when they are scheduled to hit showrooms. He said the company might sell a few early, and it could send some to consumers before November.
GM has plans to test about 100 Volts with utility companies before the showroom debut.
He also said there's a sense of urgency to spread Volt technology to other GM vehicles, including a Cadillac. But he said there are no specific dates for that to happen.
The Volt is expected have a range of up to 40 miles on one battery charge. After that, a small gasoline powered engine will generate electricity to power the car. Owners will be able to recharge the Volt battery by plugging it in to an electrical outlet.
The battery pack is made up of more than 200 battery cells that are linked together.
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