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GM, LG partner on electric vehicle development

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General Motors and LG say they will "jointly design and engineer" future electric vehicles, bringing the American automaker and Korean electronics giant together in a big way.

Detroit, meet Seoul.

American automaker General Motors and Korean electronics giant LG announced on Thursday that they will "jointly design and engineer" future electric vehicles. The relationship is a broad expansion from their current one, in which LG supplies battery cells for GM's Chevrolet Volt and Opel Ampera.

The companies say the partnership will help GM expand the number and types of electric vehicles it makes and sells. Naturally, it expands LG's presence in the automotive sector, too.

The hope is that by more closely aligning their partnership, the companies can deploy vehicle electrification technology advancements more quickly. Being a first-mover is important in the auto industry; while safety is a top concern, the lengthy product cycle of a car means that it could take years to catch up to a missed opportunity.

It's also a hedge to help meet new stringent U.S. Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, fuel economy requirements of 54.5 miles per gallon (23.2km/l) by the end of the 2025 model year. The more emissions- and gasoline-free EVs in an automaker's portfolio, the easier it is to bring the entire fleet into compliance.

The companies didn't announce a date when the first vehicles resulting from their partnership would be available.

Photos: GM

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Andrew Nusca

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Andrew Nusca is editor of SmartPlanet and an associate editor for ZDNet. Previously, he worked at Money, Men's Vogue and Popular Mechanics magazines. He holds degrees from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and New York University. He is based in New York but resides in Philadelphia. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure