The debut of the Chevrolet Volt, the world's first mass-produced electric vehicle with extended-range gas-powered capability, represents what is possible in vehicle electrification. Beyond its extremely successful debut in 2010, the Volt has created a platform from which we can further develop advanced electric-battery and motor technologies.
We consider development and production of advanced batteries for automotive applications a core competency and key competitive advantage. Today's lithium-ion technology offers superior power and energy density, resulting in smaller and lighter batteries compared to other technologies. For consumers, this translates into better MPGe fuel economy and range without compromising functionality.
The Volt is the first step in Chevrolet's plan to provide a variety of electrification solutions to address the lifestyle and transportation needs of people around the world.
The 2013 model year Chevrolet Volt has an EPA-estimated, all-electric driving range of 38 miles with an MPGe of 98 (electric), after which a gas-powered generator can power the electric motor for a total vehicle driving range, including extended range operation, of 382 miles. Fully recharging the battery is as simple as plugging into a standard household 120V outlet for approximately 10.5 hours or about 4.25 hours using a 240V charging unit.
Chevrolet also will produce an all-electric version of the Chevrolet Spark mini-car — the Spark EV. It will be sold in limited quantities in select U.S. and global markets starting in 2013. The Spark EV offers customers living in urban areas who have predictable driving patterns or short commutes an all-electric option. It complements Chevrolet's growing range of electrified vehicles, including the Volt extended-range EV and the 2013 Malibu Eco with eAssist technology.
In Europe, Opel has unveiled an electric concept car, the RAK e. Energy efficiency and affordability are the driving concepts behind this small car that will be targeted to younger customers. Compared to a conventional small, modern car, the RAK e is designed to be one-third the weight and require one-tenth the energy. The RAK e will offer zero-emission driving at minimal running costs. A three-hour battery charge at a cost of approximately one euro will enable a range of up to 100 kilometers.
Our electric propulsion strategy includes leading in the development and production of advanced battery technology. To this end, we have one of the largest and most technologically advanced battery development facilities in the U.S., as well as other battery development centers around the world. Current priorities include a focus on durability and maximizing battery performance over the lifetime of a vehicle.
In 2010, we invested $43 million in our Brownstown Township, Michigan, plant to launch the first high-volume automotive lithium-ion battery manufacturing site in the U.S. The facility currently supplies battery packs for the Chevrolet Volt.
In China, GM is fabricating and testing prototype battery cells and complete systems at its Advanced Technical Center in Shanghai. This will enable GM researchers and engineers to gain critical knowledge in the development of next-generation vehicle battery systems that will be more affordable for GM customers around the world, helping the company expand vehicle electrification.
Beyond battery technology, we are working to become the first U.S. automaker to design and manufacture electric motors, a core technology for hybrid and electric vehicles. Accordingly, we have expanded electric motor R&D; developed state-of-the-art, math-based design and simulation capabilities; and enhanced validation capabilities for electric motors. Our intent is to debut GM-designed-and-built electric motors in our 2013 next-generation, rear-wheel-drive, two-mode hybrid technology.