GM pushes back North American EV production targets on battery production difficulties

GM Ultium battery

General Motors (GM) has revealed it will not be able to live up to its previously announced plans to build up to 400,000 electric vehicles (EVs) in North America by the end of 2023.

The automaker has revised their target because of difficulties in ramping production of their Ultium battery packs.

GM CEO Mary Barra revealed the new information while speaking to investors this week about the automaker’s Q3 results. According to Barra, they now expect to reach 400,000 EVs produced by mid 2024, about six months later than originally planned.

“All of our 2023 launches are progressing well. However, due to a slightly slower launch of cell and pack production than we expected, our plan is now to produce 400,000 EVs in North America over the course of 2022, 2023, and the first half of 2024,” Barra said. (via Business Insider)

The reason for the delay is two-fold, but both relate to their Ultium battery packs.

Barra said that it has taken “a little longer than expected” to fully staff their Ultium battery production plant in Warren, Ohio. The automaker has also faced difficulty in battery pack assembly. The facility began production just last month.

Despite the setback for their original 2023 goal, the delay hasn’t affected GM’s plans to build one million EVs in North America by 2025.

If GM is able to meet their new revised goal by mid-2024, it equates to producing on average a little over 100,000 EVs per year. For comparison, Tesla is on track to deliver close to 1.5 million EVs this year around the world, with around half of the figure being in North America alone.

GM is facing more than just hiring issues with their Ultium battery packs. This week the automaker recalled 735 Hummer EVs and another 89 BrightDrop EV600 vans over concerns the battery packs might not be properly sealed, possibly resulting in water entering the pack.

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GMC Hummer EV recalled over concerns the battery pack may not be properly sealed

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