Chevy Bolt production to increase more than 20 percent.

Discussion in 'Bolt EV' started by Cypress, Jul 3, 2018.

  1. Cypress

    Cypress Active Member

    I hadn’t seen any sources for how much we could expect the Bolt to increase production, but according to this GM earnings report, they expect to increase production over 20%.

    http://www.gm.com/mol/m-2018-jul-0702-gmsales.html

    I was hoping for more than that, but it’s a start.
     
    NeilBlanchard likes this.
  2. Cypress

    Cypress Active Member

    For those that don’t want to read through the whole report:

    Chevrolet Bolt EV Production to Increase More Than 20 Percent

    U.S. and global demand for the Chevrolet Bolt EV has been very strong in 2018, with global sales estimated to be up more than 35 percent year over year in the second quarter and up more than 40 percent in the first half. In response, GM is increasing fourth quarter production by more than 20 percent compared to the average of the first three quarters.

    “Demand for the Chevrolet Bolt EV, especially in the United States, Canada and South Korea, has outstripped production,” McNeil said. “The extra production coming on line should be enough to help us keep growing global Bolt EV sales, rebuild our U.S. dealer inventory and bring us another step closer to our vision of a world with zero emissions.”
     
  3. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    GM is going to be rather limited in how fast they are going to ramp up Bolt EV production, even if they want to. Their battery supply is limited by the production at LG Chem, and it seems that LG does not build out new battery cell production capacity until it has contracts in hand, so supply will always lag behind demand for a couple of years or so.

    Given that limitation, I suppose that a 20% increase in annual production is about the best we could hope for, until such time as GM chooses to control its own battery cell supply by building cell factories it controls. We're starting to see reports that other auto makers are finally doing that, belatedly following the lead of BYD and Tesla, but sadly GM has given absolutely no signal that it's even making plans for that. :(

     
  4. Cypress

    Cypress Active Member

    I’m not convinced that each automaker needs its own dedicated battery factory. Especially as the tech is still quickly evolving. Let LG and others build out at risk.

    GM seems to building about 30,000 Bolts per year. That may go up to 36,000 per year with their announced increase.

    They have announced plan early to have something like 20 EV models within 5 years. If we assume each model has a similar volume plan as the Bolt, that’s something like 800,000 EVs per year, by 2023. Or about 16,000 per week.

    Just because they are not tweeting about their battery production plans, doesn’t mean they don’t have plans.
     
    SWAMPLIFE likes this.
  5. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    But LG and the other battery makers are not going to build out new capacity in anticipation of demand. They're waiting until they have contracts in hand before committing to building more capacity. That's a smart business practice on their part, especially after the glut on the li-ion battery market several years ago. But it means battery supply will constantly and significantly lag behind demand as the EV revolution continues to accelerates.

    Ford built its River Rouge industrial complex to enable it to rapidly ramp up production of the Model T. Some say Ford wasted money on that because eventually most of it was abandoned in favor of buying parts from suppliers. But I argue that was necessary, back in the day before there was an entire support industry of auto parts makers. If Ford had not done so, it would have been very constrained in how fast it ramped up Model T production. Ford never would have captured 90% of the automobile market in that era, or anywhere close to 90%.

    Similarly, BYD and Tesla building out high-capacity battery factories is necessary these days, when so few >100 mile range plug-in EVs are being made, and none except the Model 3 (and maybe one or two BYD models) in large numbers. Perhaps 15 or 20 years from now, when the EV revolution is well advanced, it won't be necessary for auto makers to directly control their own battery supply. But today, that is absolutely necessary for any EV maker which wants to be able to ramp up production to the level of one of the better-selling gasmobile models.

    Apple managed to hide its development of the first iPhone. But nobody could hide building a high-capacity battery cell factory. There would be too much construction activity, and too much hiring of new employees and engineers, to hide such a large project.

     

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