GM credits LG Chem with creating much of the Chevy Bolt

21 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

GM credits LG Chem with creating much of the Chevy Bolt.

DETROIT — In a break with the past, General Motors acknowledged Tuesday that LG Chem not only supplied batteries for the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt, but co-developed the electric car’s climate controls, electric-drive motor, power electronics and dashboard displays and infotainment system. “This is something we haven’t done this way before, but the capability of LG Chem and other suppliers changes over time,” said Mark Reuss, GM executive vice president for global product development, purchasing and supply chain.General Motors’ entry into the long-range electric vehicle market should be able to go more than 200 miles — or 320 kilometres — on a single charge, company officials said Tuesday. Historically automakers’ purchasing departments were the crowbar through which GM, Ford and Chrysler pried billions in savings from suppliers by cutting their prices and squeezing their profit margins.

The company also plans to market the Chevrolet Bolt, a small hatchback car due out late next year, as a crossover SUV as it tries to take advantage of the global thirst for SUVs. The comments were made at an event at GM’s technical centre north of Detroit announcing joint development efforts with LG Electronics of Korea to design the Bolt’s electric motor, heating and air conditioning system, infotainment screen and other components. The Detroit automaker today announced a strategic partnership with LG, which will supply many of the systems around the car’s electric drive system.

While the Volt is an extended range plug-in backed up by a small gasoline engine, the Bolt will be a pure electric vehicle with a range of at least 200 miles. Alternative powertrain vehicles, whether gasoline-electric or plug-in hybrids or battery-only, are facing harsh headwinds in the U.S. market and low gas prices and Americans’ insatiable appetite for towing capacity and cargo space is fueling demand for pickup trucks, large SUVs and crossovers. LG subsidiaries such as LG Electronics and LG Chem worked closely with GM to develop the prototype systems in the Bolt EV concept. “Being selected as GM’s EV technology partner positions LG as a key player in next-generation vehicular technologies,” said Woo-jong Lee, president and CEO of the LG Electronics Vehicle Components Co, said in a released statement. “The opportunity to work with GM on such game-changing technology is indicative of exactly the type of contributions that traditional tech companies can make in the automotive space.” This sort of partnership makes sense for General Motors and LG. While GM and others have made progress in boosting the range of their batteries and reducing weight of vehicles, the cost of producing hybrids and EVs at current sales volumes is a high hurdle. That is a driving factor in GM’s decision to entrust LG Chem with more responsibility on the Bolt which will go into production in late 2016 at GM’s Lake Orion assembly plant.

Bolt pricing will be released closer to the car’s launch, but Chevrolet has said it intends to sell it for about $30,000 after buyers apply federal and state tax credits. Pam Fletcher, GM’s executive chief engineer for electric vehicles, said the company will try to get the Bolt classified as an SUV because it has the “spaciousness and utility” of a larger vehicle.

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