Fresh From Bankruptcy, GM Opens Battery Lab In Michigan

Posted Jun 9, 2009

About a week ago, General Motors filed for bankruptcy.  The automotive company borrowed nearly $20 billion from the government and is considered the fourth largest bankruptcy in history.  The company is slashing their brands, two of which sold last week.  Chinese company Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Company bought the Hummer brand and successful auto dealer slash race team owner Roger Penske bought the Saturn brand.  Despite the turmoil, General Motors is out to prove that they are out to continually invest in new technologies.

The company has just opened a Global Battery Systems Lab in Warren, Michigan.  Warren is the third largest city in Michigan and serves as the headquarters for Big Boy Restaurants International, Campbell Ewald, and Asset Acceptance.  Warren is also the hometown of rapper Eminem, late wrestler Bruiser Brody, and Boston Red Sox pitcher John Smoltz.

The new battery lab will focus on research and development based around electric vehicles.  This announcement was made around the same time that the company revealed that they will be cease the development of medium-sized trucks.  This will result in the laying off of over 300 employees.  More specifically, the Chevy Kodiak and the GMC Topkick will halt production at the Flint Assembly plant on July 31.  The Chevrolet Silverado and the GMC Sierra will continue to be manufactured.

The new battery lab will be 33,000 sq. ft. in size and will employee about 1,000 engineers.  The lab has 160 test channels and 42 thermal chambers so that real-world temperatures can be emulated.