DETROIT — General Motors Corp. has formed a new global engineering group to speed up development of electric and hybrid vehicles and get them to market more quickly, the company said last week.
The group is similar to one formed by Chrysler LLC in September as automakers race to develop battery and hydrogen fuel cell technology to power cars and trucks.
Jim Queen, GM's group vice president of global engineering, said the team will focus on technical development of hybrid and extended-range electric vehicles.
The 400-person engineering team will work on global vehicles, as well as GM's efforts to meet new European carbon dioxide emissions regulations. Last year GM opened a studio at its Warren Technical Center to work exclusively on electric vehicles.
The company has said it has a target of 2010 to bring the Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle to market. The Volt will be designed so it can be plugged in to a home outlet to recharge the battery pack, giving the electric motor a range of about 40 miles. The motor would then kick in and recharge the battery pack, extending its range.
In September, Chrysler announced the formation of ENVI, a new part of the company responsible for developing electric vehicles and other advanced propulsion technologies.
SOURCE: The Detroit News