Charged EVs | GM says equipping the next-gen Chevy Bolt EV with LFP batteries will save billions


EV enthusiasts were disappointed at GM’s decision to discontinue the popular (if a bit dull) Chevy Bolt EV last year. In hindsight, the move may have been premature—the new Ultium EVs that were supposed to replace the Bolt in GM’s lineup have been delayed, causing the company to post embarrassingly low EV sales figures for 2023.

But fear not! A new and improved Bolt is in the works, and is due to appear in 2025. The next-generation Chevy Bolt EV will not be a clean-sheet redesign, but it will use the new Ultium platform (and NACS fast charging). What’s more, it will be North America’s first Ultium-based model to use lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries, which GM will source from an unnamed supplier.

GM’s current Ultium battery cells use a nickel-cobalt-manganese-aluminum (NCMA) chemistry. The company produces NCMA-based batteries at the Ultium Cells plant in Ohio, operated under a joint venture with LG Energy Solution. GM will soon launch production at additional battery facilities in Tennessee and Michigan.

GM says switching to the cheaper LFP batteries, combined with economies resulting from recycling the Bolt rather than developing a brand-new model, will deliver big savings.

“I know there’s been some speculation in the market as to why we are developing a new Bolt EV,” CEO Mary Barra said recently. “Our strategy is to build on the tremendous equity we have in the brand, and to do it as efficiently as possible. In the process, we are saving billions in capital and engineering expense, delivering a significantly cost-improved battery pack using purchased LFP cells, we’re getting to market at least two years faster, and our unit costs will be substantially lower.”

“We’ve got an established brand,” said GM CFO Paul Jacobson, referring to the Bolt. “We’ve got a really good product that customers love. We can realize some of the efficiencies of the Ultium platform using LFP chemistry and technology and make it more profitable for us and significantly improve the business case for it.”

Source: Electrek


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