Look no further than GM for evidence that electric vehicles are about to explode in popularity. The auto giant recently invested $8 million to double the size of its automotive battery lab—already the biggest and most advanced battery lab in the U.S.
As a result of the investment, GM's Michigan-based battery lab will double in size from 30,000 square feet to 63,000 square feet. The expansion will also increase GM's capabilities in six areas: buildup and teardown, safety and abuse tolerance, manufacturing engineering, charger development and integration, thermal development, and battery storage. In practical terms, GM's swanky battery lab will speed up the development of EV batteries—potentially allowing the automaker to release extended-range EVs more quickly.
The multi-million dollar battery lab investment isn't GM's only EV battery effort. In January, the company became the first major American automaker to open a battery pack factory in the U.S. The $34 million factory, located in Brownstone Township, Michigan, produces lithium-ion batteries made with cells from Korean company LG Chem.