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May 20, 2020

GM close to ‘million mile’ EV battery

General Motors is "almost there" on developing an electric vehicle battery that will last 1m miles, a top executive has said, according to a media report.

By Olly Wehring

General Motors is "almost there" on developing an electric vehicle battery that will last 1m miles, a top executive has said, according to a media report.

The automaker is also working on next generation batteries even more advanced than the new Ultium battery it unveiled in March, according to GM executive vice president Doug Parks, speaking at an online investor conference, Reuters reported.

He did not specify a timeline for introduction of the million mile battery, but said "multiple teams" at GM were working on such advances as zero cobalt electrodes, solid state electrolytes and ultra-fast charging.

Current electric vehicle batteries typically last 100,000 to 200,000 miles.

Reuters reported exclusively in early May that Tesla, in partnership with Chinese battery maker CATL, planned to introduce its own million mile battery later this year or early next.

CATL provides battery cells to other vehicle manufacturers and has supply agreements in China with GM and its local JV partner SAIC Motor.

GM unveiled its Ultium advanced battery system in March. On Tuesday, it said its US$2.3bn battery production joint venture in Ohio with Korean partner LG Chem would be called Ultium Cells, Reuters said.

GM and LG Chem were pursuing a variety of ways to reduce battery costs, Adam Kwiatkowski, executive chief engineer of GM's electric propulsion systems, told another online investor conference on Tuesday, according to the news agency.

The partners were investigating such initiatives as investing in mines, hedging metals prices and partnering with metals refiners, he said.

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