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PHOTO CAPTION: Chevrolet Volt Voltec Propulsion System relies on lithium ion batteries housed in center console 'T'. Photo credit: EV World.com

GM, Rivals Spark Race for Electric Car Batteries

Auto industry is beginning to make needed advances in battery technology to put a first wave of rechargeable electric cars like the Volt on the road.

Published: 17-Jan-2009

DETROIT -- With major automakers including General Motors (GM.N) touting high-profile plans for a new generation of environmentally friendly electric cars, sceptics have offered a running rebuttal: show me the battery.

GM picked Korea's LG Chem (051910.KS) to build lithium-ion batteries for its all-electric Chevy Volt, the U.S. auto maker said on Monday. It expects to build the car in Michigan and introduce it in November 2010.

Upstart rival BYD, a five-year-old Chinese company, also said it was looking to begin manufacturing operations in the United States if demand for its low-cost lithium-ion phosphate batteries takes off.

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