General Motors (NYSE: GM) said Tuesday it will add 1,000 engineers and researchers in Michigan over the next two years to significantly expand its vehicle electrification expertise and lead in the development of electric vehicles from hybrids to electric vehicles with extended-range capability, like the Chevrolet Volt.
The commitment by GM CEO Dan Akerson coincides with preparations for delivery of the first Chevrolet Volt electric vehicles with extended-range capability to customers in key states.
The new jobs will build on GM’s strategy to develop, validate and manufacture automotive battery, electric motor and power control technologies in-house as core competencies.
“GM is going to lead the industry in the adoption of various vehicle electrification technologies, whether its electric vehicles with extended-range capability, like the Chevrolet Volt, or the recently introduced eAssist technology that will debut on the 2012 Buick LaCrosse,” Akerson said. “We want to give our customers energy choices other than petroleum and to make the automobile part of the solution when it comes to the environment.”
Deep experience and expertise in batteries, electric motors and power controls will ensure GM provides the best possible electric vehicle choices to customers around the world, Akerson said.
The 2007 reveal of the Chevrolet Volt has spurred a flurry of activity in the electrification of the automobile and has become an economic multiplier for the state of Michigan. GM’s electric vehicle engineering investment expands on the more than $700 million GM has invested in eight facilities in Michigan to support Volt production.
GM has the industry’s largest and most technologically advanced battery systems lab at its Warren Technical Center and has invested $336 million at its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant, home of the Volt, along with another $43 million at the industry’s only battery pack manufacturing plant in Brownstown Township. An additional $162 million investment was announced last week to support powertrain operations in Flint and Bay City as well as in Defiance, Ohio.
In addition to GM’s investments, suppliers such as LG Chem, utility companies such as DTE Energy and organizations including the University of Michigan and Wayne State University are investing in Michigan jobs to support Chevy Volt and electric vehicle development.
“The state of Michigan is proud to continue our long partnership with GM as it drives toward a leaner, greener future,” Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm said. “As we work to diversify our state’s economy both within the auto industry and outside of it, electric vehicles will play a major role in re-establishing Michigan as the North American center of automotive manufacturing.”
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