General Motors (GM) has recently unveiled its ambitious plan to manufacture 1 million electric vehicles (EVs) in North America by 2025. However, a forecast and analysis conducted by AutoForecast Solutions (AFS) indicates that GM’s slow ramp-up of its three battery plants in the United States may hinder the company from reaching its production target. According to Sam Fiorani, head of global vehicle forecasting at AFS, GM’s planned battery production at the Ohio, Tennessee, and Michigan plants could pose challenges in achieving the goal of producing over half a million EVs in North America by 2025.
Despite these concerns, GM spokesperson Jim Cain reaffirmed that the company has not altered its targets, which include the cumulative production of 400,000 EVs between early 2022 and mid-2024. While GM has not disclosed specific production targets for 2024 and 2025, Wedbush auto analyst Dan Ives expressed confidence that GM’s targets are still within reach despite the obstacles.
GM’s joint venture with LG Energy Solution, called Ultium Cells, has already opened its first plant in Warren, Ohio, and plans to commence production at its second plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee, by early 2024. The third plant, located in Lansing, Michigan, is set to open in early 2025. These three battery plants are expected to have a combined annual capacity of at least 135 gigawatt-hours (GWh), which would theoretically supply over 1.3 million EVs annually. However, AFS predicts that the actual production of cells from these plants will only reach 58 GWh, enough to support around 550,000 vehicles. Fiorani emphasized that limitations in battery capacity and the availability of raw materials may impede GM’s projected EV volumes.
While GM claims to have secured sufficient battery raw materials to achieve its 1 million EVs per year goal, AFS suggests that obtaining the necessary components and materials for future growth could become increasingly challenging. AFS also highlights the strain on GM’s battery plants, despite the company’s plans for expansion, including a recently announced fourth factory in collaboration with Samsung SDI, which is not expected to begin operations until 2026.
AFS’s forecast predicts that GM will manufacture approximately 76,000 EVs in North America this year and increase production to 328,000 vehicles by 2024. GM’s Chevrolet brand has ambitious plans for this year, with the introduction of new electric models such as the Equinox and Blazer EVs, along with a Silverado EV pickup. However, the production of the Bolt EV and Bolt EUV is slated to end later this year. The Cadillac Lyriq and GMC Hummer EV are still in the early stages of production ramp-up, with GM delivering only 968 Lyriqs and two Hummer pickups in the first quarter.
As GM strives to achieve its EV production targets, the company faces the challenges of optimizing battery plant capabilities, securing sufficient raw materials, and managing the increasing demand for electric vehicles in the market.