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GM taps former Sila, Tesla exec to head Batteries

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.

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 deliver profitable, lower-cost, higher performing electric vehicles more quickly to customers at scale.

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.

Kelty 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.


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