DETROIT – A small battery company backed by General Motors is working on breakthrough technology that could power an electric car 100 or even 200 miles on a single charge in the next two to four years, GMs CEO said Thursday.
Speaking at an employee meeting, Dan Akerson said the company, Envia Systems, of Newark, Calif., has made a huge breakthrough in the amount of energy a lithium-ion battery can hold. GM is sure that the battery will be able to take a car 100 miles within a couple of years, he said.
It could be double that with some luck, he said.
I think weve got better than a 50-50 chance, Akerson said, to develop a car that will go to 200 miles on a charge, he said. That would be a game changer.
GMs current electric car, the Chevrolet Volt, goes about 35 miles on a charge and has a small gas motor that generates power to keep the car going after that. Few competitors have electric cars with more than 100 miles of range.
The GM meeting, which was broadcast on a conference call to employees, lasted about an hour. A participant allowed a reporter from The Associated Press to listen.
Akerson said the company is looking at hybrids, all-electric cars, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and natural gas vehicles, as well as developing more efficient petroleum-powered engines.
We cant put all of our chips on one bet, he said. Weve got to look at them all.