Delays to battery supplies in North America are set to delay General Motors’ electric vehicle production by up to six months.
GM CEO Mary Barra announced back in February that the American conglomerate was targeting 400,000 EV deliveries across North America by the end of 2023 as GM establishes a “secure and integrated supply chain.” This is an initial step in GM’s electrification roadmap which includes one million EVs being produced annually in North America by 2025 ahead of the end of combustion-engined sales altogether by 2035.
However, delays to battery production, in-part caused by an extended training program for employees at GM’s battery facility in Warren, Ohio – production at which began in September – mean this target has now been pushed back by up to six months, as confirmed in a conference call to investors.
“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 explained.
This six-month delay is not expected to extend any further, however, with all launches planned for 2023 “progressing well.” The recently revealed Chevrolet Equinox compact e-SUV, the mid-sized Blazer e-SUV, and, in particular, the GMC Sierra EV and Chevrolet Silverado EV pickups highlighted as “cornerstones of [GMs’] strategy to rapidly grow EV volumes by winning in high-volume segments.” Similarly, the newly-unveiled Cadillac Celestiq, and specifically “the almost limitless possibilities of Ultium” on which the handcrafted sedan has been built, was earmarked as another, admittedly lower volume, key player once production starts in December 2023.
Record sales of the Chevrolet Bolt EV hatchback and EUV mid-sized SUV EV, meanwhile, said to equate to eight per cent of the US’ EV market, are expected to play an important role on meeting GM’s 400K target. The accompanying Q3 letter to shareholders also confirmed GM will increase Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV production numbers by 44,000 to 70,000 units per year in a further bid to “move… customers into one of [its] new EVs for their next purchase.”
Alongside the Warren, Ohio, plant, a second US battery facility, as part of a joint-venture with LG Energy Solutions, will be opened next year, with a third scheduled for 2024 and a fourth currently being planned. Further details regarding locations though have not been disclosed.