GM Appoints Former Tesla Battery Chief Kurt Kelty as VP of Batteries

In a strategic move to bolster its electric vehicle (EV) endeavors, General Motors (GM) has enlisted the expertise of Kurt Kelty, a former Tesla executive, to take on the role of Vice President of Batteries, a newly established position within the company.

Kelty’s Mission at GM

In this capacity, Kelty will spearhead GM’s battery cell strategy, overseeing a comprehensive approach that spans from raw materials procurement to research and development, technological innovation, commercialization of cells and packs, and exploration of end-of-life opportunities. This move underscores GM’s commitment to advancing its electrification efforts, particularly as it expands its lineup of EVs.

Kelty expressed his enthusiasm for the role, stating, “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.”

Kelty’s Background and Expertise

Kelty brings a wealth of experience to his new position, having previously served as Vice President at Sila, where he played a pivotal role in sales, business development, and battery engineering, particularly in the integration of Sila’s silicon anode material into electric vehicles requiring high energy density and fast charging capabilities.

Prior to his tenure at Sila, Kelty spent 11 years at Tesla, where he led the battery development team and was instrumental in the establishment of Tesla’s first gigafactory, a groundbreaking facility for lithium-ion battery and EV component production.

GM’s Vision for Electrification

Mark Reuss, President of GM, expressed confidence in Kelty’s ability to drive GM’s electrification goals forward, emphasizing his track record in battery chemistry development, partnership establishment, and supply chain management. Reuss stated, “The foundation that GM has established coupled with Kurt’s exceptional battery expertise […] will help us achieve our electrification goals and position GM as a leader in EV technology.”

Kelty’s appointment underscores GM’s commitment to staying at the forefront of EV innovation and marks a significant step in its quest to shape the future of automotive electrification.