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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

GM faucets ex-Tesla battery chief to ship cheaper EVs sooner


Normal Motors has employed former Tesla battery-development boss Kurt Kelty as its new vice chairman of batteries.

On this newly-created place, Kelty will likely be tasked with bringing collectively GM’s growth assets “to extra rapidly ship worthwhile, lower-cost, greater performing electrical autos to prospects at scale,” and can report on to GM president Mark Reuss, the automaker mentioned in a press launch.

GM Ultium battery - cell stacking

GM Ultium battery – cell stacking

Kelty was most not too long ago vice chairman of battery agency Sila, serving to to push adoption of that firm’s silicon anode tech that is slated to be used within the upcoming Mercedes-Benz EQG electrical SUV. Previous to that, Kelty led the battery growth staff at Tesla for 11 years and drove the creation of that automaker’s Nevada “Gigafactory” with Panasonic, which was additionally the corporate that bought Kelty began with lithium-ion batteries, in 1993.

“For greater than 30 years, I have been centered on serving to develop and commercialize battery applied sciences that can assist within the transition to electrical transportation,” Kelty mentioned in an announcement. “Becoming a member of GM creates a fair greater alternative to assist the trade make the swap and have an enduring impression on our planet.”

GM’s manufacturing ramp on its Ultium-powered EVs has been going very slowly, reportedly as a consequence of provide of batteries. That is triggered GM to overlook manufacturing targets and sure pushed the launch of more-affordable EVs farther out.

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV

2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV

In the meantime, GM CEO Mary Barra has underscored that the corporate is versatile on battery cells in its EV ramp. That led to the announcement final 12 months {that a} new three way partnership with Samsung will make cylindrical batteries—maybe good for lower-profile, extra environment friendly autos, or sports activities automobiles. GM additionally final 12 months acquired the battery-health startup ALGOLiON, and earlier this week it confirmed plans to spend $19 billion on sourcing battery uncooked supplies from LG Chem via 2035.

As of but, the Chevy Equinox EV is because of begin at $34,995, with an estimated 319 miles of vary, making it the lowest-cost Ultium EV introduced to this point. The next-generation Bolt EV may have an LFP battery pack and is anticipated to price lower than that. EV tax credit score apart, neither of those fashions fairly problem the worth of internal-combustion autos. 

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