GM just announced that it has appointed Kurt Kelty as the company’s new vice president of Batteries, a newly created position at General Motors. Kelty will report to GM President Mark Reuss, and will support The General in its transition to all-electric powertrains. Kelty is a former Tesla executive and considered a globally recognized battery expert.
As General Motors’ new vice president of batteries, Kelty will oversee the automaker’s battery cell strategy and end-to-end approach, including the use of raw materials, research and development, investments, commercialization, and end of life opportunities.
“The foundation that GM has established coupled with Kurt’s exceptional battery expertise in leading battery chemistry development, establishing partnerships, building out supply chains and partnering closely with teams that have developed leading battery systems will help us achieve our electrification goals and position GM as a leader in EV technology,” said GM President Reuss.
Kelty previously served as vice president at Sila, overseeing sales, business development, battery cell manufacturing partnerships, and battery engineering. Prior to working at Sila, Kelty led battery development at Tesla for 11 years. During his tenure at Tesla, Sila oversaw technical exchanges and commercial negotiations with battery cell suppliers and early-stage battery cell developers, and was key in the creation of the first Tesla Gigafactory. Kelty began is career in lithium-ion batteries in the early ‘90s working for Panasonic.
“For more than 30 years, I’ve been focused on helping develop and commercialize battery technologies that will aid in the transition to electric transportation,” Kelty said. “Joining GM creates an even bigger opportunity to help the industry make the switch and have a lasting impact on our planet.”
In related news, General Motors just inked a new $18.6 billion deal with LG Chem to secure hundreds of thousands of tons of cathode materials for battery production. The new deal secures 500,000 tons of cathode materials from 2026, and 950,000 tons of cathode materials by 2030.