As GM accelerates toward its vision of an all-electric future, the company continues to invest in the infrastructure and attract world-class talent to make that a reality. In the latest move, GM has hired Kurt Kelty, a globally recognized battery expert and former Tesla executive, to be vice president of Batteries, reporting to GM President Mark Reuss.
The move was reported in a press release posted to GM’s website.
In this newly created role, Kelty will be charged with GM’s battery cell strategy and a new end-to-end approach. This will include the use of raw materials, research, developing and investing in new technology, commercialization of cells and packs, and end of life opportunities. His team will be responsible for a critical piece of GM’s electrification strategy, bringing together the company’s already robust battery development resources with industry expertise to more quickly deliver profitable, lower-cost, higher performing electric vehicles to customers at scale.
“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 Reuss.
Kelty’s appointment and the elevated focus on battery cell technology builds on years of investment and the establishment of infrastructure that is already allowing GM to identify and prototype next generation technology and manufacture cells at scale. With Kelty joining the team, this will expand and accelerate those efforts and position GM as the EV leader in the future.
“For more than 30 years, I’ve been focused on helping develop and commercialize battery technologies that will aid in the transition to electric transportation. Joining GM creates an even bigger opportunity to help the industry make the switch and have a lasting impact on our planet,” said Kelty.
Most recently, Kelty was a vice president at Sila, where he was responsible for sales, business development, battery cell manufacturing partnerships and battery engineering involved in the adoption of Sila’s silicon anode material in EVs requiring high energy density and fast charge.
Prior to Sila, Kelty led the Tesla battery development team for 11 years. At Tesla he was responsible for the technical exchanges and commercial negotiations with battery cell suppliers and early-stage battery cell developers. He was a key driver in the creation of Tesla’s first Gigafactory, the largest lithium-ion battery and EV component factory in the world. He began his work in lithium-ion batteries in 1993, working for Panasonic, where he created alliances and joint development programs to advance lithium-ion rechargeable batteries for portable applications.