The company responsible for producing lithium-ion battery cells for the Chevrolet Volt (pictured) has announced when its commercial production will begin.
LG Chem Michigan will produce the battery cells at its Holland, Michigan, facility from July this year. It is currently waiting on the completion of a Production Part Approval Process and customer approval.
According to the company, tests have already started at the 650,000sq ft $303million facility. It will manufacture batteries for the Chevrolet Volt with volume expected to increase in line with the popularity of the electric vehicle market and when the company is able to secure further contracts.
The plant was built in part thanks to a $151.4million grant from the US Department of Energy's Recovery Act Award for Electric Drive Vehicle Battery and Component Manufacturing Initiative. This is despite the fact that a review from the Office of the Inspector General accused LGChem of misusing the funds it had been awarded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
During that review, it was found that LG Chem Michigan had inappropriately claimed for labour charges: leading to $842,000 in reimbursements being questioned. It also found that the work performed under the grant had not been managed effectively and LGChem had not met the objectives outlined: including producing enough battery cells to equip 60,000 electric vehicles before the end of 2013.
Now LGChem has outlined that while it had originally aimed to produce five assembly lines at the facility in Holland, it has set up three so far: and hopes to finish the remaining lines by September this year.
Currently, the company provides electric vehicle batteries to 10 different manufacturers.
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