The recent strike by the United Auto Workers (UAW) at Ford, General Motors (GM), and Stellantis factories has caused disruptions in the automotive industry. However, there might be a silver lining for GM, which has been facing production problems with its Ultium battery platform.
GM has been investing in electrification and has developed the Ultium battery platform to be used across its brands. The goal of Ultium is to produce batteries that are cheaper than those currently used in the Chevy Bolt. However, GM’s current production rate of Ultium cells suggests that breaking the cost barrier of $100/kWh may take some time.
GM has had to halt the production of BrightDrop electric delivery vans to prioritize battery use in other electric vehicles. The launch of Ultium-based models like the GMC Hummer EV and Cadillac Lyriq has also been slow. These production bottlenecks have been attributed to delivery issues from GM’s automation equipment supplier.
According to Sam Fiorani, VP of global vehicle forecasting at AutoForecast Solutions, the UAW strike could potentially give GM the opportunity to address these production bottlenecks. However, it seems that the strike is unrelated to the production delays of the Hummer EV and Lyriq, as the affected plants are not subject to industrial action.
The UAW strike highlights concerns about the impact of the transition to electric vehicles on employment in the automotive industry. With the reduced number of parts in electric vehicles, there may be a decrease in the number of workers needed for production. Additionally, weak demand for electric vehicles is also a threat to job security.
This issue is not unique to the US, as Volkswagen has recently cut contracts for hundreds of staff at its factory in Germany that builds its ID range of electric vehicles. The affordability of electric vehicles plays a significant role in stimulating demand.
Resolving the production issues with the Ultium battery platform is crucial for GM to deliver more affordable electric vehicles. This would not only benefit the automaker but also align with the concerns of the UAW and support the growing market demand for electric vehicles.
– [Title of the source article], [Author/News Organization]
– Ultium: GM’s battery platform used for its electric vehicles
– UAW: United Auto Workers union representing automotive workers in the US
– EV: Electric Vehicle