BROWNSTOWN TOWNSHIP, MI - General Motors Company will invest $43 million in Brownstown Township, Mich., to manufacture lithium-ion battery packs for the Chevrolet Volt and other extended-range electric vehicles.

The investment includes renovation and lease costs for the 160,000-square-foot landfill-free facility, new machinery and equipment, and special tooling. With the exception of specialized battery machinery and equipment, GM is reusing equipment from other GM facilities. Equipment installation at the Brownstown site is under way and production will start in the fourth quarter of 2010 to support the launch of the Chevrolet Volt.

The GM Brownstown Battery Assembly facility will include three primary assembly areas:

Battery module pre-assembly: Cells are processed and installed into one of three battery modules, which comprise a single battery pack.

Final assembly: Final assembly and testing of the three modules required for each battery pack.

Battery pack main line. Battery receives final dressing including attachments of hoses, straps, and electrical connections. Battery pack final testing, verification, and packaging for shipment also takes place.  

The Chevrolet Volt will be GM's first extended-range electric vehicle to receive the new plant's lithium-ion battery. The Volt's 16-kWh battery is the heart of GM's Voltec electric propulsion system and consists of 150 unique parts. GM designed and engineered all but eight parts. The Volt is expected to achieve city fuel economy of at least 230 miles per gallon, based on development testing using a draft EPA federal fuel economy methodology for labeling for plug-in electric vehicles.

In June, GM opened the largest and most technologically advanced battery lab in the United States on its Technical Center campus in Warren, Mich. The new GM Brownstown Battery Assembly plant will work closely with GM's Global Battery Systems Lab in Warren, which is dedicated to GM's advanced battery development and testing for electrically driven vehicles.