Serious about progress: GM will make its own electric batteries for the Chevy Volt

In what could be an early sign of American pride in electric battery making for the auto industry, General Motors is going forward with plans to put together its own electric batteries in-house for its automobiles. Hybrid and electric vehicles use batteries developed largely in Asia and, for the most part, are placed in a vehicle rather than engineered inside of it. Combustion engines, on the other hand, are seen as one of the most essential components inside any vehicle.

GM's plans may change that. The company not only wants to build its own battery packs, the automaker is constructing a 31,000-square-foot battery lab that will be home to hundreds of battery engineers. Battery engineering is a new field for the US — several engineering schools have added battery-specific courses in only the past couple of years.

"The design, development and production of advanced batteries must be a core competency for GM," General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner said in an announcement, "and we've been rapidly building our capability and resources to support this direction. This is a further demonstration of our commitment to the electrification of the automobile."

Via Technology Review