General Motors announced Thursday that it will begin testing for its electric rechargeable car, the Chevy Volt, in spring 2008.
The lithium-ion battery packs planned for the should be ready as soon as October 2006, Bob Lutz, GM's global product chief, told Reuters.
The company also announced Monday it has signed another contract with battery manufacturer A123Systems to help it develop the lithium-ion battery cells for its E-Flex electric drive train.
GM already has contracts with other major battery technology companies and suppliers.
Korean-based LG Chem is working on battery packs with cells provided from its subsidiary Compact Power. Continental Automotive Systems is working on a battery pack using the cells developed by GM and A123Systems. All four of the companies are working toward the goal of making GM an affordable, powerful and long-range rechargeable lithium-ion battery.
It's unknown at this point which battery technology will ultimately make it into the Chevy Volt.
GM's electric competitors have already announced their testing plans. Toyota's household plug-in has been approved for public road testing in Japan with plans to apply for U.S. approval. And Ford has started a program to test hybrid plug-in vehicles with Southern California Edison in California, the company announced in early July.