Ford Focus electric cars to be powered by Compact Power Inc. (CPI)

Ford Motor Co. has selected LG Chem's U.S. unit Compact Power Inc. to supply battery packs for an electric Focus compact car for U.S. production starting in 2011, the automaker said today.

Compact Power will begin assembling lithium-ion battery packs from cells for the Focus electric car at a site to be determined, Ford said.

General Motors Co. also chose Compact Power to supply batteries to its Chevrolet Volt extended range electric vehicle.

The first cells for the Focus electric battery will be produced by LG Chem in South Korea, Ford said. Cells will be produced later at a new site in Holland, Mich., it said.

U.S. production of the Focus electric vehicle is scheduled for Ford's Michigan Assembly Plant where the automaker also plans to produce the next gasoline-powered Focus car. The plant is being converted from SUV production.

"We are very excited to be partnering with Ford on their new battery electric-powered Ford Focus," said Prabhakar Patil, CEO of CPI. "It tells us we are on track in developing high-power and high-energy lithium ion batteries that the industry needs as it moves toward the electrification of vehicles that lessen our dependence on foreign oil."

Ford has committed $550 million to transform the Michigan Assembly Plant from a large SUV factory to a modern car plant to build the new Focus and Focus Electric. The plant will also produce a next-generation hybrid and a plug-in hybrid in 2012.

- Reuters Inputs.

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