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September 01, 2020 10:18am
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GM delays EV delivery timeline, fully sources renewable energy supply

The automaker said it has taken longer than expected to hire and train some 1,000 workers needed to staff Ultium Cells’ first battery cell plant in Ohio.

Automaker General Motors pushed back by six months its goal of delivering 400,000 electric vehicles in North America by the end of 2023. GM CEO Mary Barra said during a quarterly earnings call that battery production cannot be ramped up as quickly as planned.

She said it has taken longer than expected to hire and train some 1,000 workers needed to staff Ultium Cells’ first battery cell plant in Warren, Ohio, which began production in September. It also took longer than planned to assemble the battery pack.

(Read “Making EVs without China’s supply chain is hard, but not impossible – 3 supply chain experts outline a strategy.”)

GM also said it has in place energy sourcing agreements that will enable it to secure all of the energy it needs to power its U.S. facilities by 2025. It said this is in line with an accelerated target announced in September 2021.

It did not immediately provide details on the latest agreements.

GM said that by achieving this accelerated goal, it expects to avoid producing around 1 million metric tons of carbon emissions that would have been produced between 2025 and 2030.

Earlier in October, GM said it would get into the vehicle-to-building charging sector with a new business unit known as GM Energy.

It said that its Ultium Home and Ultium Commercial, in combination with the existing Ultium Charge 360, would be used to create a suite of energy management products and services.

The move comes as electrification across multiple sectors including transportation is taking hold. The expansion offers more business opportunities for car manufacturers as the vehicle’s battery can be tapped when it’s not in use to provide resiliency to the grid or backup power to homeowners.

GM Energy’s connected product and service offerings are intended to include bi-directional charging, vehicle-to-home (V2H) and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) applications, stationary storage, solar products, software applications, cloud management tools, microgrid solutions, hydrogen fuel cells and more.

Acting as an aggregator, GM Energy’s services would also enable the sale of energy from EV and stationary storage batteries back to utilities during peak, high energy consumption periods.

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