GM touts revolutionary battery breakthrough

GM may have discovered a new battery technology that could double range while cutting costs in half.

Range and price are two of the biggest issues facing the widespread adoption of electric vehicles, but General Motors says it might be on the brink of solving both.

GM CEO Dan Akerson revealed during an employee meeting this week that Envia Systems, a small battery company backed by GM, has made a major breakthrough in the field of lithium-ion batteries. Envia's new technology could double a battery's range while cutting costs in half.

Thanks to a major innovation that allows greater energy storage in lithium-ion batteries, GM says the new Envia tech will be able to power an electric vehicle for 100 miles within a couple of years. In four years, Envia's battery technology could provide vehicles with an all-electric range of 200 miles.

"I think we've got better than a 50-50 chance to develop a car that will go to 200 miles on a charge," Akerson told the Detroit Free Press. "That would be a game changer."

GM's plug-in Chevrolet Volt currently has an all-electric range of about 35 miles.

In addition to being more energy dense, Envia says the new technology could also slash the cost of lithium-ion batteries by half.

GM didn't give a timeframe for when we might see Envia's battery technology used in a GM-branded vehicle.