General Motors (GM) has reevaluated its production target and revealed it pushed back plants to build 400,000 electric vehicles in North America as it could not ramp up battery production as the company expected.
GM CEO Mary Barra has shared the new information while speaking to investors about the company’s third-quarter results. According to the CEO, they now expect to reach 400,000 EVs produced by mid-2024, about six months later than initially 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,” says Barra.
Barra said it has taken “a little longer than expected” to train and hire staff for its new Ultium battery production plant in Warren, Ohio. The carmaker also encountered difficulties in battery pack assembly. The facility started its production in September.
“It’s taken a little bit longer also from the battery pack assembly as well,” said Barra.
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Despite the drawback of their original 2023 goal, the delay has not impacted the company’s plans to produce one million EVs in North America by 2025. Notably, the manufacturer plans to stop gasoline-powered vehicle sales by 2035.
If GM meets its revised goal in the middle of 2024, it equals an average of a little over 100,000 EV production annually. In contrast, Tesla is on the path to delivering nearly 1.5 million EVs this year worldwide, with around half of the figure in North America alone.
The automaker is facing more than hiring issues with its Ultium battery packs. Just this week, the automaker recalled 735 Hummer EVs and another 89 BrightDrop EV600 vans over concerns the battery packs might be improperly sealed, possibly resulting in water entering the pack.
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Furthermore, the CEO revealed it is working to ensure a future supply chain in a strategic supply agreement and direct investments, like Queensland Pacific Metals of Australia, to secure cobalt and nickel, both critical components in battery production.