GM Puts Charge in Detroit Auto Show

Japan put up funding to jump-start Panasonic EV, while China has offered free electricity and equipment to battery factories.

Published: 19-Jan-2009

DETROIT -- The most talked-about announcement at the North American International Auto Show yesterday wasn't about any of the gleaming cars on the convention center floor. It concerned batteries.

General Motors unveiled plans to build a lithium-ion battery plant in Michigan to assemble battery packs for the 2011 Chevrolet Volt, the company's highly anticipated plug-in electric hybrid.

"We believe this will become a competitive advantage for GM and will be critical to GM's success," GM chairman and chief executive G. Richard Wagoner Jr. told a crowd at the show.


GM inadvertently releases early a series of executive photos with views of the Volt in the background.

GM Co-chairman Bob Lutz with newly debuted Chevy Volt electric car

GM's Co-Chairman appears on Comedy Central's Colbert Report and runs into unexpected flak.

Bob Lutz answers press questions at 2009 NAIAS. Photo credit:

American buyers usually choose the largest vehicle they can afford from a fuel standpoint. Breaking that habit is difficult, said Bob Lutz.


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