General Motors may have found its solution to the trouble and bottlenecks it has had with the Ultium battery project.
That solution lies within Kurt Kelty, a former Tesla battery technology senior director, who will join General Motors later this month as the company’s Vice President of Batteries.
Kelty was with Tesla for 11 and a half years, starting in March 2006 and leaving in August 2017 for a Senior VP position at Plenty. Most recently, Kelty worked at Sila Nanotechnologies, and for the past four and a half years, he has been the VP of Commercialization, where he was responsible for helping expand silicone anode material.
Kelty’s decision to join GM was first reported by TechCrunch, who stated his first day will be February 19.
GM President Mark Reuss told the publication:
“The foundation that GM has established coupled with Kurt’s exceptional battery expertise in leading battery chemistry development, establishing partnerships, building out supply chains and partnering closely with teams that have developed leading battery systems will help us achieve our electrification goals and position GM as a leader in EV technology.”
It is perhaps the key addition GM needs to figure out the bottlenecks in the Ultium battery pack project, which has been a roadblock in the company launching an effective EV lineup that will rely on the Ultium platform.
In October, GM delayed the opening of its Ultium Cell production plant in Tennessee, but this was due to construction timeline issues. It was scheduled to be opened by the end of last year, but the company did not achieve that goal.
Ultium was developed by GM to enable a lineup of new EVs and bring a software-based mentality to the cars. However, it has not been able to efficiently produce the vehicles that will sit on the Ultium platform, and Kelty is expected to solve the issues along with a team of engineers.
Seven current GM models are utilizing Ultium cells:
- GMC Hummer EV
- BrightDrop Zevo 600 van
- Chevrolet Silverado EV
- Chevrolet Blazer EV
- Cadillac Lyriq
- Buick Electra E5
- Buick Electra E4
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