GM, Suzuki explore making electric vehicles
DETROIT - General Motors Corp.\'s and Suzuki Motor Corp.\'s joint venture plant in Canada has signed an agreement with Electrovaya Inc. to develop electric vehicles, the Canadian battery manufacturer said yesterday.
Under the memorandum of understanding, Electrovaya will develop an electric propulsion system, which unlike conventional internal combustion engines has no polluting emissions, for the Chevrolet Tracker and the Suzuki Vitara small sport utility vehicles built at the Ingersoll, Ontario, plant.
However, the system could easily be transferred to other future products, said Electrovaya Chief Financial Officer Paul Van Damme. Should GM and Suzuki decide to develop electric vehicles with the Electrovaya system, they could reach market around mid-decade, Van Damme said.
Automakers have been trying to build vehicles which pollute less in order to meet more stringent government regulations. They have been making electric vehicles in small numbers, but their acceptance has been thwarted due to the costs of the batteries and the limited range of electric vehicles.
Electrovaya makes batteries for laptop computers, and this is its first agreement with an automaker, Van Damme said. The company claims its lithium-ion rechargeable battery delivers the highest energy density of any battery technology on the market.
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
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