GE tapped to help design electric car
Jun 24, 2008 - Larry Rulison - timesunion.com
NISKAYUNA -- General Electric Co. has been awarded part
of a $30 million contract from the U.S. Department of Energy
to help the auto industry develop a cost-effective and reliable
plug-in hybrid electric car.
GE Global Research in Niskayuna will work with Chrysler
on the project. The two companies together will be given
up to $10 million over three years, and each will also contribute
an equal amount of money to the project.
GE will work with the carmaker on developing a dual battery
storage system capable of powering a vehicle for 40 miles
without recharging. The Department of Energy wants such
cars to be commercialized by 2016.
"In Chrysler, you have an experienced and storied carmaker
that understands how to make quality, fuel-efficient vehicles,"
said GE Global Research spokesman Todd Alhart. "In GE, you
have a company that understands how to control and manage
electric power and all the moving parts, including batteries."
Alhart said that in the next few weeks, GE will submit
a proposal to the department advancing GE's hybrid electric
car research "so that the technology is reliable and affordable
for consumers." The Department of Energy says 40 miles without
recharging is important because that covers most daily round-trip
commutes in the United States and 70 percent of the average
General Motors and Ford Motor Co. were also awarded a portion
of the $30 million contract, roughly $10 million each.