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General Motors (s GM) has contracted Compact Power, a Michigan subsidiary of Korea’s LG Chem, to supply lithium-ion polymer battery packs for its electric Chevrolet Volt. GM CEO Rick Wagoner announced the plan this morning at the Detroit Auto Show after more than a year of competition for the supply deal between Compact and Massachusetts-based A123Systems — confirming buzz that the deal had been struck back in October.
Today’s announcement comes on the heels of news from A123 Systems that it has applied for DOE loans to build a battery factory in Michigan, but the state is not an EV battery hot spot just yet: Compact Power plans to manufacture the Volt battery packs at its plant near Seoul, Korea. At higher volumes, LG Chem chief Bahn-suk Kim said the batteries could be produced stateside.