In its quest for a complete transition to electric vehicle production by 2035, General Motors plans to reduce the cost of its most expensive component, the battery. GM enlists the support of partners and aims to create a long-lasting battery with a range of 805 km or more. up to 965 km.
General Motors (GM) is working to develop the next generation of its Ultium electric vehicle batteries, testing new chemistries and metals to reduce costs. General Motors President Mark Reuss said this on Wednesday at an investor conference.
The 211% rally in GM shares over the past 12 months and the recent high of $ 61.94 indicate that investors are hailing the transformation of America’s largest automaker.
Earlier this month, GM released encouraging first-quarter 2021 delivery results – the all-electric Chevrolet Bolt EV performed the best ever ever – with retail sales growing 60%.
At the same time, GM’s huge investment of $ 27 billion over the next five years should lead not only to the emergence of 1 million General Motors electric vehicles, but also make them highly competitive with Tesla (TSLA), Ford (F) vehicles, as well as alternatives. from European and Chinese electric vehicle manufacturers.
To achieve this goal, GM needs to develop new batteries that are durable, affordable, and more powerful — extending the range of electric vehicles. Reducing the cost of batteries will allow GM’s EVs to be priced competitively, while at the same time achieving profit margins.
CEO Mary Barra and President Mark Reuss previously said GM’s next-generation vehicles will be profitable, unlike the Bolt EV.
GM executives said they are aiming to bring the cost of battery cells to below $ 100 per kilowatt hour by 2025, down from more than $ 150 per kilowatt today. According to the company’s plans, future batteries for electric vehicles of the General Motors brands will last at least 1.6 million kilometers, and the range between charges will be from 805 km. up to 965 km.
GM is focusing its efforts on finding and testing various battery chemistries, as well as reducing dependence on expensive metals such as cobalt.
In the words of company president Mark Reuss, “For its next generation Ultium batteries, GM is experimenting with silicon and lithium metal rich anodes, solid state and high voltage electrolytes, and dry electrode curing.”
Given the large global supply of GM vehicles, the company will manufacture batteries with international partners.
The US automaker’s $ 2.3 billion joint venture with Korea’s LG Energy Solution is set to begin manufacturing Ultium battery cells in Lordstown, Ohio, in 2022.
Jesse Ortega, GM’s chief electric vehicle architecture engineer, previously announced that the company has no plans to move its electric Bolt hatchbacks to the next generation platform. That said, new next-generation Ultium batteries make their debut in the Hummer and Cadillac Lyriq electric vehicles, using graphite-based anodes, nickel-cobalt-manganese-aluminum cathodes and a liquid electrolyte.
GM is gearing up to deliver its first electric Hummer EV Edition 1 pickups this fall, with cheaper versions of the car and the Hummer EV 2024 SUV expected to begin later. The Chevrolet Silverado electric pickup, unveiled this week, is expected to begin production late next year.
GM and LG are expected to announce the construction of a second electric vehicle battery plant in Tennessee soon, to further support GM’s goal of producing 1 million electric vehicles a year by 2025.
Referring to the technology partnership with Massachusetts-based battery startup SES, Reuss said GM is “open to various partnerships and new technologies.”
In parallel, another key GM challenge is to improve the Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving system, which uses facial recognition technology to determine if a driver is paying attention to the road. In the future, these technologies could be the basis for creating a new revenue stream for GM if the company charges a monthly fee for using them.