GM Resumes Chevrolet Bolt EV/Bolt EUV Production

Good news comes from General Motors, which has resumed production of the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV at the Orion Assembly plant in Michigan.

According to The Detroit NewsGM spokesman Kevin Kelly said:

“Production of the Bolt EV/EUV resumed today, as planned. We’re excited to have The Bolt EV/EUV back in the market.’

Production was halted in August 2021 due to a massive battery recall, which concerns about 142,000 cars (including about 100,000 in the US), aside from a short restart (for two weeks) in November.

The cause of the recall was two manufacturing defects (a torn anode tab and folded separator) in lithium-ion battery cells (pouch type) supplied by LG Chem’s LG Energy Solution.

Over the past several months, General Motors has focused on replacing battery modules in cars affected, which due to the scale, caused a lack of new batteries to support the production of new cars. It seems that the battery shortage eased now and production might resume in parallel to the ongoing recall process.

Now, with the Bolts back, General Motors produces a total of four passenger all-electric cars: Chevrolet Bolt EV, Chevrolet Bolt EUV, GMC Hummer EV pickup, and the latest Cadillac Lyriq (customer deliveries will begin soon). There are also Brightdrop commercial BEVs.

It should allow increasing sales to more noticeable levels than in the previous two quarters (26 units in Q4 2021 and 457 units in Q1 2022), which is very important for the company and for the BEV-hungry market.

  • the full battery recall was announced on August 20, 2021
  • cause: manufacturing defects (a torn anode tab and folded separator) in lithium-ion battery cells (pouch type) supplied by LG Chem’s LG Energy Solution may lead to a battery fire “in rare circumstances”
    Cells were produced in plants in South Korea and in Holland, Michigan
  • fire reports (as of September 16, 2021 via Reuters): 12 and three injuries
    18 confirmed Bolt fires globally (as of April 4, 2022, according to The Detroit News)
  • cars: about 142,000 cars (including about 100,000 in the US)
    all Chevrolet Bolt EV (2017-2022)
    all Chevrolet Bolt EUV (2022)
  • remedy: replacement of battery modules (newer cars) or entire battery packs (early cars) start in October 2021
    The new batteries include an extended battery 8-year/100,000-mile limited warranty (or 8-year/160,000 km limited warranty in Canada), whichever comes first.
    production of battery modules was resumed on September 20 and GM announced a new advanced diagnostic software package is coming.
    temporarily recommendation 1 (interim charging guidance): don’t charge beyond 90% State of Charge (SOC) or discharge below approximately 70 miles (113 km) of the remaining range (which is close to 30% SOC, assuming roughly 250 miles of EPA range) and keep the vehicles outside .
    temporarily recommendation 2 (November 19, 2021, software update): don’t charge beyond 80% State of Charge (SOC), but there will be no discharge or parking restrictions.
  • estimated cost: $2.0 billion (mostly covered by LG companies)
    In October GM announced an agreement with LG on Bolt EV recall costs – “GM will recognize an estimated recovery in its third-quarter earnings that will offset $1.9 billion of $2.0 billion in charges associated with the recalls.”
    We previously estimated (assuming the total cost, battery size and the number of cars) that the average cost per car might be higher than $12,000 (or over $190 per kWh)
  • estimated battery volume: 9.2-9.4 GWh
  • similar case: Hyundai recall of about 82,000 EVs (including 75,680 Hyundai Kona Electric)
  • production: production of new cars was halted in August 2021
    resumed only for two weeks on November 1-November 15, 2021
    summarized: April 4, 2022

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