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GM hits Volt battery milestone; What's the car's magic price?

GM hits Volt battery milestone; What's the car's magic price?

Posting in Energy

GM has manufactured its first advanced lithium-ion battery for its Chevy Volt, which could cost less than the $40,000 expected price tag.

GM has manufactured its first advanced lithium-ion battery for its Chevy Volt, which could cost less than the $40,000 expected price tag.

On Thursday, GM said that manufactured its first battery at its Brownstown Battery Pack Assembly Plant in Michigan. The milestone is viewed as a real signal that GM is on track for bringing the Volt mainstream (statement).

Volt's battery pack has more than 200 battery cells. The battery that was manufactured is being used to validate the Brownstown plant's processes and systems. The battery will make its way to GM's battery systems lab in Warren, Mich. for testing. GM expects to ship batteries in the spring for production validation vehicles.

GM celebrated the battery manufacturing milestone at a ceremony on Thursday. Jon Lauckner, GM's head of global program management, told Dow Jones that the Volt's price could be "notably lower" than the $40,000 mark.

The comments raise an interesting question: What's the right price for an electric vehicle? Would you pay a premium for one and if so how much? There's a magic price and GM has to find it.

Here are a few images of the battery coming off the line:

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Larry Dignan

Editor-in-Chief

Editor-in-Chief Larry Dignan is editor-in-chief of SmartPlanet and ZDNet. He is also editorial director of TechRepublic. Previously, he was an editor at eWeek, Baseline and CNET News. He has written for WallStreetWeek.com, Inter@ctive Week, New York Times and Financial Planning. He holds degrees from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the University of Delaware. He is based in New York but resides in Pennsylvania. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure