Friday, August 10, 2007

The VOLT or just another "plug-in" ??

General Motors Corp. took another step Thursday in its quest to develop a car that will be able to travel as far as 40 miles on a single electric charge.

GM said it had signed a contract with battery maker A123Systems to develop lithium-ion batteries specifically designed to power the Volt plug-in hybrid vehicles that GM hopes to put on the market in the next few years.

The battery technology used by A123Systems is potentially safer, cheaper and more durable than other designs now being tested, the automaker said. This would give Detroit-based GM a boost over Toyota Motor Corp. and other rivals in the race to produce a viable plug-in car for the U.S. market.

GM said it expected to start road-testing prototype vehicles powered by A123Systems' lithium-ion batteries by the end of this year or in early 2008.

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