Thursday, February 29, 2024

GM hires ex-Tesla battery boss Kurt Kelty as newly created VP of batteries – Autoblog

Kurt Kelty, right, then director of battery technology at Tesla, demonstrates the chassis and battery of the Model S sedan to reporters in 2012. (Getty Images)

General Motors has hired a former Tesla executive, Kurt Kelty, to fill the newly created position of vice president of batteries as the automaker continues to work on its electric vehicle strategy.

GM still sees strong demand for the EV products it currently has on sale. The company expects EV losses to decline this year and reach low-to-mid single-digit profit margins in 2025 as it adds more EVs to its lineup.

Kelty will be responsible for GM’s battery cell strategy and a new end-to-end approach. This will include the use of raw materials, research, development and investment in new technologies, commercialization of cells and packs, and end-of-life opportunities.

“For over 30 years, I have been dedicated to developing and commercializing battery technologies that will facilitate the transition to electric transportation. Joining GM creates an even greater opportunity to help the industry drive change and make a lasting impact on our planet,” Kelty said in a statement.

Kelty will report to GM Chairman Mark Reuss.

“The foundation that GM has established, coupled with Kurt’s exceptional battery expertise in developing battery chemistry, establishing partnerships, building supply chains and partnering closely with teams that have developed cutting-edge battery systems, will help us achieve our electrification goals and position GM as a leader. in EV technology,” Reuss said in a statement Thursday.

Kelty most recently served as Vice President at Sila, where he was responsible for sales, business development, battery cell manufacturing partnerships and battery engineering involved in the adoption of anode material in Sila silicon in electric vehicles requiring high energy density and fast charging.

Before that, he led the Tesla battery development team for 11 years. He played a key role in the creation of Tesla’s first gigafactory, the largest lithium-ion battery and electric vehicle component factory in the world.

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