GM Misses 2023 EV Goal by Half as Production Woes Persist

Ultium Battery Issues Continue to Hamper Manufacturing on Multiple Models
Chevrolet Silverado
The Chevrolet Silverado EV truck during the 2022 New York International Auto Show. (Michael Nagle/Bloomberg News)

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General Motors Co. had a goal of producing 150,000 electric vehicles last year, with about half of them being new models built using its Ultium battery pack. The company missed its target by a mile.

The automaker sold 75,000 EVs in 2023, with most of them being the Chevrolet Bolt compact and the slightly larger Bolt EUV, lower-priced models not using Ultium batteries that will soon be discontinued in their present form.

The automakers’ Ultium-powered vehicles, like the Cadillac Lyriq, Chevy Blazer SUV, Silverado pickup and Hummer EV, along with its BrightDrop fleet vans, accounted for a little less than 14,000 of the firm’s EV sales in 2023.

GM has had persistent problems with the automation that assembled the Ultium battery cells coming from its joint venture LG Energy Solution into battery packs, and production has been slow to ramp up.

GM expects these manufacturing problems to be solved in the first half of the year. As it works to clear the bottleneck, the automaker is also working to change sourcing for two EV parts so the Blazer and Lyriq will meet the qualifications for the full $7,500 EV tax credit from Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act in the coming months.

Treasury Department rules prohibit awarding tax credits for vehicles using battery components made by any company that is subject to Chinese jurisdiction, or is at least 25% owned by the Chinese government.

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Until the Blazer and Lyriq qualify for the tax credit, GM will provide customers incentives equal to that amount.

Similarly, rival Ford Motor Co. is putting $7,500 lease incentives for the 2023 Mustang Mach-E, a boost from the $3,750 tax credit it qualified for last year.

Ford also lowered the price of the high-end Platinum edition of its F-150 Lightning electric pickup as much as $7,000 and raised the base model price as much as $10,000. Yet the automaker isn’t optimistic about the sales prospects: Last month it cut 2024 production goals for the electric truck by half.