GM plans to add 1,000 battery tech engineers

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010 | Finance News

HAMTRAMCK, Mich. – General Motors Co. said Tuesday it will hire 1,000 additional engineers in the Detroit area to work on battery technology.

The automaker said most of the jobs will be at a technical center in Warren, Mich., north of Detroit.

The engineers will help develop batteries for hybrid, electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles of the future.

The company made the announcement at a ceremony marking factory production of the Chevrolet Volt rechargeable electric car.

CEO Dan Akerson told a crowd of workers at the Volt factory that the new engineers and researchers will help develop new batteries, electric motors and power controls.

Hiring will begin immediately and last into 2012, he said.

Electric vehicles, he said, are critical to the global auto industry, and the new Volt is the "first step in a long journey to develop the technology in this country, in this company."

Akerson drove a Volt onto a stage before making his presentation. The ceremony was held to mark the start of shipments of Volts to consumers who have ordered them.

Akerson said the $41,000 Volt will be sold at close to its cost. But he compared it to the digital camera as a necessary breakthrough in technology.

GM shares rose 3 cents to $33.83 in late morning trading Tuesday.

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