GM plans first lithium-ion hybrid cars by 2010

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General Motors is making some big pushes to make its products use less oil and be more environmentally friendly. GM expects to bring its first lithium-ion battery powered hybrid cars to the North America market by 2010. The automaker announced the plans at the international motor show in Geneva, Switzerland. It says the new battery will deliver three times the power than its current nickel-metal-hybrid version. Auto experts agree that the new ion batteries are a key to mass producing energy-efficient vehicles.

The lithium-ion battery powered Hybrids basically apply the same technology as the battery you’d find in your mobile phone or notebook PC, but on a larger scale.

The batteries are smaller and more powerful than the nickel-metal hydride batteries currently used by gas-electric hybrids but they are also more expensive. Mass production should see this technology being more and more accessible and affordable to all.

GM says that its new hybrid system will eventually spread worldwide, with over 100,000 vehicles being produced annually. It would be used in conjunction with a range of GM’s other engines including turbocharged petrol, diesel and biofuel.