While GM Reinvents Itself, U.S. Battery Makers Are Just Getting Started - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Infrastructure // PC & Servers
Commentary
6/1/2009
04:50 PM
Cora Nucci
Cora Nucci
Commentary
50%
50%
RELATED EVENTS
Moving UEBA Beyond the Ground Floor
Sep 20, 2017
This webinar will provide the details you need about UEBA so you can make the decisions on how bes ...Read More>>

While GM Reinvents Itself, U.S. Battery Makers Are Just Getting Started

On Monday, the U.S. took a 60% ownership in General Motors and President Obama described the government as a "reluctant" owner of the new company. That's exactly how I felt about the family station wagon when I was in high school.

On Monday, the U.S. took a 60% ownership in General Motors and President Obama described the government as a "reluctant" owner of the new company. That's exactly how I felt about the family station wagon when I was in high school.I trawled the suburban streets in that rusting land barge, anyway -- what choice did I have? About the same as taxpayers had in the GM deal. Unfortunately, the "new" GM's product lineup for 2009 and 2010 leaves something to be desired. The paucity of clean-burning, fuel-efficient vehicles that made me groan before, as an observer, makes me howl now, as a part-owner.

Where are the hybrids and the all-electrics? Only one of the six cars on the list is a gas-electric hybrid -- the Chevy Volt. (Yes, I have heard about the Spark, GM's subcompact coming in 2011. While I like that it may be built at an idled UAW-GM facility, the Spark still runs on gas, and only on gas.)

GM has known for decades that its financial and product trajectory would run out of road eventually. As I noted last summer after the company announced a $15.5 billion loss: plenty of economists and analysts and other car companies saw the oil fiasco barreling down the pike.

The new GM is expected to launch in 60 to 90 days. In the meantime, lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles are in production and new, domestic manufacturing plants are being announced left and right.

On Monday Boston-Power said it would build a manufacturing facility of its own in central Massachusetts. The company makes lithium-ion batteries for HP's Enviro Series of notebooks and has developed a product it calls Swing, for powering plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles (PHEV/BEV).

Last month GE announced it will break ground soon on a battery manufacturing plant in upstate New York.

And in April, A123 Systems, a GE partner, secured $100million in refundable tax credits to site a production plant in Livonia, Michigan. It plans to make Michigan its battery manufacturing hub.

Now that we're all in this GM reincarnation deal together, it couldn't be any clearer. The new company's product plans will have to include more hybrids and all electric vehicles -- and fast. What choice do we have?

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
IT Strategies to Conquer the Cloud
Chances are your organization is adopting cloud computing in one way or another -- or in multiple ways. Understanding the skills you need and how cloud affects IT operations and networking will help you adapt.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll