General Motors will start making battery fixes to over 140,000 recalled Chevrolet Bolts EVs and EUVs beginning in mid-October. Every GM Bolt ever made and every Hyundai electric Kona ever made have been recalled because the battery packs can catch fire. There needs to be a $11000 to 12000 fix for each electric car. There were about 142,000 GM Bolts and 82,000 Hyundai Kona’s impacted.
The 2017-19 model year Bolt EVs will get five new battery modules, essentially getting an enhanced battery pack. The 2020-22 Bolt EVs will get all new modules too, unless GM can finish developing software that will allow it to identify whether they have defective modules that need replacing.
LG Chem has restarted production at LG’s plants in Holland, Michigan, and Hazel Park. They have been down since August.
LG’s first 5GWh US battery production plant opened in Michigan in 2012, which LG said required an investment of around US$600 million. LG is also adding capacity to the plants so it can make more cells as needed by GM.
Through a joint venture (JV) agreement with carmaker GM, it is now building a 35GWh plant in Ohio, worth around US$2.3 billion and expected to open in 2022.
The Bolt EV has about a 60 kWh battery. The 5 GWh factory would take over two years of production to replace all recalled battery packs for GM and Hyundai. If the new LG Ohio battery factory opens in 2022, then increased battery production could accelerate completing the battery repairs earlier in 2023. Otherwise, it could take until early 2024 to complete the recall repairs.
GM and LG confirmed the root cause of reported battery fires. There are two manufacturing defects called a torn anode and a folded separator. Both defects in the same battery cell cause a fire to occur. GM confirms that 13 Bolts have caught fire while parked, causing three injuries. Eleven of those fires were in the U.S.
GM has told Bolt owners to not park within 50 feet of a building and not to charge over 90%.
In about 60 days, there should be battery pack analysis software to determine if the battery defects are present in a particular vehicle.
Tesla has to watch out as the electric car competitors are on fire.
SOURCES- Detriot Free Press, GM, LG, Energy Storage News
Written by Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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