Tuesday, July 16, 2024

General Motors Appoints Former Tesla Executive Kurt Kelty as VP of Battery Unit

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General Motors (GM) has appointed former Tesla Inc executive Kurt Kelty to the newly created role of vice president of its battery unit.

Kelty, who led Tesla’s battery development team for 11 years and played a pivotal role in establishing Tesla’s first Gigafactory, joins GM amid its efforts to ramp up battery manufacturing to support its goal of producing 1 million electric vehicles in North America by 2025.

Last year, GM expressed concerns over the slow ramp-up of its three U.S. battery plants, which could potentially limit actual electric vehicle (EV) production.

See also: LG Chem Signs $19 Billion Deal with General Motors for EV Battery Materials

The automaker, the top-selling in the U.S., anticipates that EV sales will increase to 10% of the U.S. market this year from 7% in 2023. Additionally, GM plans to introduce plug-in hybrid vehicles in North America as hybrid sales have been on the rise.

Mark Reuss, president of GM, stated, “The foundation that GM has established, coupled with Kurt’s exceptional battery expertise, will help us achieve our electrification goals and position GM as a leader in EV technology.”

Kelty expressed his enthusiasm about joining GM, emphasizing his decades-long commitment to developing and commercializing battery technologies for electric transportation.

See also: SAIC-GM-Wuling Introduces Slim Power Battery Pack for New Energy Commercial Vehicles

Kelty’s previous role was as vice president at Sila Nanotechnologies, where he oversaw sales, business development, and battery engineering, focusing on the adoption of Sila’s silicon anode material in EVs.

Before Sila, Kelty held a prominent position at Tesla, where he was instrumental in technical exchanges and commercial negotiations with battery cell suppliers, as well as in the creation of Tesla’s Gigafactory.

Kelty’s extensive experience in lithium-ion batteries dates back to 1993 when he worked for Panasonic, forging alliances and joint development programs to advance lithium-ion rechargeable batteries for portable applications.

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