General Motors has awarded two contracts for the development of lithium-ion batteries for its E-Flex electric drive system, a sign that development for the advanced vehicle is well underway. The new drivetrain will feature in a production version of the Chevrolet Volt concept car due to hit the streets by the end of the decade.

The E-Flex System was first shown as the plug-in battery electric propulsion system for the Volt concept car at January’s Detroit Auto Show and then in a plug-in fuel cell variant of the E-Flex system that was shown at the Shanghai Auto Show in April.

One contract will go to lithium-ion battery supplier Compact Power, a subsidiary of Korea’s LG Chem, while the second contract has been awarded to Germany’s Continental Automotive Systems.

The Volt is a very important model for GM and this latest announcement brings it much closer to reality. "Given the huge potential that the Volt and its E-Flex system offers towards lower oil consumption, lower oil imports, and reduced carbon emissions, this is a top priority program for GM,” explained CEO Rick Wagoner.