Wednesday, October 4, 2023
News Battery Troubles are Limiting the Production of General Motors Electric Vehicles

Battery Troubles are Limiting the Production of General Motors Electric Vehicles

A shortage of Ultium batteries limits the production of most General Motors EVs.

  • The company has difficulty sourcing enough Ultium batteries for its vehicles.

  • Only one factory currently produces these batteries, with three others set to come online next year.

  • Ultium batteries are used in all of the company’s new EVs, from the Chevrolet Equinox EV to the Cadillac Celestiq.

Despite strong demand, General Motors has had trouble delivering significant numbers of its new electric vehicles over the last year.

According to the automaker’s CFO, Paul Jacobson, this is due to a shortage of Ultium batteries, which are the basis of its entire range of new electric vehicles (except the Chevrolet Bolt).

The issue apparently stems more from the assembly of the battery packs rather than the production of the cells themselves.

Indeed, only one factory, located in Lordstown Ohio, currently assembles Ultium batteries for General Motors in partnership with LG Energy Solution.

A limited output from this facility meant that every Ultium model currently on the market has been impacted over the last few months, including the Brightdrop Zevo 600 electric delivery van.

Indeed, the CAMI factory that manufactures them in Ingersoll, Ontario has just resumed production after having been idle for two weeks last month due to a lack of batteries.

In addition, the GMC Hummer EV saw only 49 units roll off the assembly line over the first six months of 2023 for the pickup and the SUV combined.

Even the Cadillac Lyriq electric SUV, the most popular current Ultium EV, only saw 2,400 deliveries since the beginning of the year, and while over 1,000 units are reported to have been built in July alone, this is still far below targets.

This is not very surprising since GM expected to manufacture 25,000 units of the Cadillac SUV in 2022 but only 8,195 of them were actually produced.

In order to put an end to these supply issues and prepare for the arrival of a number of new Ultium-based EVs that will make their debut in 2024 or 2025, such as the Chevrolet Equinox EV, Blazer EV, and Silverado EV, the GMC Sierra EV, and the Ultra-luxury Cadillac Celestiq, among others, the company will add Ultium battery production at three facilities by the end of 2024.

At the moment, these include an expansion to the CAMI factory which will allow the manufacture of battery packs from cells sourced elsewhere. In addition to supplying the Brightdrop vans built locally, GM says this plant could ship completed batteries to other assembly plants in the area.

Another planned battery factory will open in Spring Hills, Tennessee, where the Cadillac Lyriq is currently produced, and the third one will be located in Lansing, Michigan, where General Motors has a strong manufacturing presence.

Source: Automotive News

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