Thu. May 23rd, 2024

GM North American EV Production Target Faces Challenges

GM North American EV Production

General Motors (GM) may face obstacles in meeting its target of producing 1 million electric vehicles (EVs) in North America by 2025, according to a forecast and analysis conducted for Reuters. The slow ramp-up of GM’s three U.S. battery plants could potentially limit EV production to less than 600,000 by the mid-decade. Sam Fiorani, head of global vehicle forecasting at AutoForecast Solutions (AFS), highlighted this concern.

GM spokesperson Jim Cain reiterated that the company has not altered its targets, which involve cumulative EV production of 400,000 units from early 2022 to mid-2024. Despite potential challenges, analysts such as Dan Ives from Wedbush remain optimistic about GM’s ability to achieve its goals.

GM’s joint venture with LG Energy Solution, Ultium Cells, has recently inaugurated its first plant in Warren, Ohio. Additional facilities in Spring Hill, Tennessee, and Lansing, Michigan, are scheduled to commence production in the coming years. Combined, these plants will have an annual capacity of at least 135 gigawatt-hours (GWh), enough to power over 1.35 million EVs annually. However, AFS’s forecast indicates that due to staggered startup schedules and a slow ramp-up, the three battery plants may only produce around 58 GWh worth of cells, sufficient for approximately 550,000 vehicles.

Fiorani points out that limitations in battery capacity and securing raw materials could impede GM’s projected EV volumes. In July 2022, GM announced that it had secured adequate battery raw materials, such as lithium, nickel, cobalt, and cathode active material, to achieve its goal of producing 1 million EVs annually in North America by 2025. However, as global automakers intensify their investments in EVs, obtaining sufficient supplies of materials may pose challenges.

Looking ahead, AFS suggests that GM’s North American EV production targets will continue to strain its battery plants, even with the introduction of a fourth factory in collaboration with Samsung SDI, expected to open in 2026. The forecast warns that accessing the necessary components and materials for future growth may become increasingly difficult.

AFS projects that GM will manufacture approximately 76,000 EVs in North America this year and increase production to around 328,000 in 2024. GM plans to introduce several new electric vehicles under its Chevrolet brand, including the Equinox and Blazer EVs, as well as a Silverado EV pickup. However, production of the Bolt EV and Bolt EUV models is anticipated to conclude later this year. While the Cadillac Lyriq and GMC Hummer EV have yet to reach full production capacity, only a limited number of deliveries were made in the first quarter of this year.