General Motors (GM) has hired Kurt Kelty, a former Tesla executive with a long career in battery technology, as Vice President of Batteries.
In his new role at GM, Kelty will be responsible for overseeing the automaker’s battery cell strategy from end to end. This includes managing the sourcing of raw materials, investing in research and development, commercializing new technologies, and finding sustainable solutions for batteries at the end of their life cycle. (via Automotive News)
Kelty has over three decades of experience in the battery sector, including a significant stint at Tesla where he led the battery development team. His time at Tesla was marked by pivotal developments in battery technology and establishing Giga Nevada, one of the world’s largest lithium-ion battery and EV component manufacturers.
Kelty left Tesla in 2017, most recently serving as Vice President at Sila, focusing on business development, battery cell manufacturing partnerships, and engineering, according to his profile on LinkedIn.
Kelty’s hiring comes at a crucial time as GM seeks to expand its Ultium battery platform, which is the foundation for its next-generation EVs. The Ultium platform provides a versatile and scalable basis for a wide range of EVs across GM’s brands.
One of his primary challenges will be to reduce battery costs while ensuring the vehicles remain high-performing and profitable for GM. This goal aligns with GM’s broader vision to lead in the electric vehicle market, with a pledge to invest $35 billion by 2025 in electric and autonomous vehicle technologies.
GM signed a $18.6 billion deal this week with LG Chem to secure cathode materials for battery production.