General Motors confirmed it will shutter the assembly plant in Orion Township outside Detroit where the company builds the Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV through the rest of the year as it deals with the battery-related recall.
“GM has notified employees at Orion Assembly the plant will take downtime for the remainder of the 2021 calendar year,” GM said in an email to TheDetroitBureau.com.
“This decision will enable us to continue prioritizing recall repairs. We will continue to inform employees at the appropriate time of any additional production schedule adjustments in early 2022, as we continue to focus on battery module replacements.”
Reuss says GM has learned from recall
During a conference for investors organized by Barclays Bank, GM President Mark Reuss said the recall is not deterring the automaker’s commitment to an electric future, which the company displayed for President Joe Biden, who visited GM’s Factory Zero in Detroit this week.
GM used the recall as an opportunity to learn more about batteries and battery construction.
“We took a lot of learning from this,” said Reuss. GM and its partner, LG Energy, have worked methodically to figure out the source of the problem and to address them, he said.
The knowledge gained from the recall also has helped GM make improvements to the new Ultium battery being used in GMC Hummer EV pickup, Reuss said. GM plans begin delivering the first of the Hummers to customers by the end of the year.
GM wants to see price of EV batteries drop
Under questioning by Brian Johnson, Barclays automotive analyst, Reuss also stressed the Ultium platform underlying GM’s new EVs, such as new Hummer, is capable of the utilizing batteries with different chemistry or even solid-state batteries.
In fact, GM is moving forward with investments in different types of batteries as well as solid-state batteries. The company also is building a battery innovation center on the campus of the General Motors Technical Center in Warren, Michigan.
The goal is to find a way to reduce the cost of the battery used in GM’s growing fleet of electric vehicles, which will include 30 EVs by 2025.