General Motors CEO Mary Barra has indicated that The General will continue its relationship LG Energy Solution following a massive recall of LG-battery-equipped Chevy Bolt EV and Chevy Bolt EUV vehicles.
As GM Authority covered previously, General Motors extended a product recall last week to include all units of the Chevy Bolt EV and Chevy Bolt EUV, bringing the grand total to more than 73,000 units. The recall includes models sold in the U.S. and Canada, and stems from a defective anode tab and folded separator, which is believed to have caused 10 vehicle fires. The recall is estimated to cost $1.8 billion.
However, in a recent interview with Bloomberg, GM CEO Mary Barra indicated that the automaker won’t walk away from its partnership with LG Energy Solution in the wake of the Bolt recall. Barra also indicated that the automaker has “multiple pathways” laid out to achieve GM’s goal of becoming a leader in the electric vehicle segment, including via GM’s new Ultium battery platform set to provide the juice in the new GMC Hummer EV pickup and SUV, as well as the Cadillac Lyriq luxury crossover.
“With our joint venture with LG, who is a valued partner, we’re going to be able to combine their expertise with our expertise, so I have a lot of confidence in our Ultium platform,” Barra told Bloomberg.
Barra added that General Motors is not necessarily tied to one battery technology or design with regard to future GM EV models.
“We have multiple pathways with battery technology to make sure we’re going to have a leadership position,” Barra said. “The flexibility that’s been designed into the Ultium platform is many different chemistries can be introduced.”
One possible way forward for General Motors is through its partnership with SolidEnergy Systems (SES). Back in March, GM announced a new development agreement with SES intended to advance the automaker’s lithium metal battery tech, as well as plans to build a manufacturing prototyping line in Massachusetts, and plans to release a new high-capacity, pre-production battery in 2023.
For now, though, General Motors will need to contend with the existing Chevy Bolt EV and Bolt EUV recall, as well as forge ahead with plans to construct four new battery plants in the U.S.