GM said Kelty will help it reach electrification goals and 'position GM as a leader in EV technology.'  -  IMAGE: Chevrolet

GM said Kelty will help it reach electrification goals and 'position GM as a leader in EV technology.'

IMAGE: Chevrolet

General Motors picked up former Tesla executive Kurt Kelty as its vice president of batteries.

The Detroit-based automaker touted the hire as part of its push toward “an all-electric future,” though it and other legacy brands have slowed their time lines to transition away from gas-powered vehicles.

GM called Kelty a “globally recognized battery expert” and said it’s charging him with its “battery cell strategy and a new end-to-end approach,” including new technology investment, cell and pack commercialization and “end of life opportunities.”

Part of his team’s work will be to produce “lower-cost, higher performing” electric vehicles at scale. The lack of lower-priced EVs has been a snag in U.S. adoption, as lineups have skewed toward the high end. Consumers consistently rank the high price of EVs as an obstacle to moving away from gas-powered models.

“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 Mark Reuss, whom Kelty will report to.

Kelty led Tesla’s battery-development team for 11 years before moving to Sila.

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