Compact Power, the company responsible for supplying battery cells for the upcoming Chevy Volt EREV, announced that it hopes to supply its own fully assembled battery packs in the near future.

According to Compact Power CEO Prabhakar Patil, the company has its eyes on a goal of supplying fully assembled battery pack to various automakers from assembly sites located within the vehicle assembly plants.  Compact Power would build dedicated lines within automaker plants to build the batteries.  Patil stated that in the future Compact Power could co-locate within an auto plant, "If the volume is more than 50,000 units we will co-locate it with the vehicle assembly plant.  If it's less, we will do it at a central location."

Patil believes that the decision to co-locate could help Compact Power drive down costs of lithium-ion batteries.  He notes that the Chevy Volt battery pack is anticipated to cost around $16,000 according to DOE estimates, but feels that li-ion technology can become more cost effective.

Patil said," I expect to get down by another factor of two in the next 5 to 10 years.  Li-ion packs have dwindled by a factor of 14 since their introduction in 1991.  You can't keep going down at the same rate, but I'm optimistic we can go down another two factors."

By integrated the battery production facility into the automakers plant, battery production costs can be reduced and the finished product is on site and readily available.  Compact Power believes this method will be the most cost effective method for producing li-ion equipped vehicles.

Source:  Wards Auto (Login required)