GM EV Clowns

Tesla haters have been saying for years that serious electric car competition was coming. In 2017, Business Insider write “We just drove the all-electric Chevy Bolt — and Tesla is officially in trouble”. General Motors considers itself the Dream Team: the car company that symbolizes US manufacturing might. The Chevy Bolt won the Car and Driver car of the year in 2017. The GM Chevy Bolt was the best-selling non-Tesla electric car for the last five years. It turns out GM is the laughable EV competition.

Now in 2021, GM has had to recall every Bolt ever made. They are recalling 142,000 Bolts to replace all of the batteries. Average car recalls over the past ten years involve $500 per car in repairs. This will cost $12,600 per car. The total cost will be $1.8 billion. GM has stopped the GM Bolt production line and will not restart until they are certain the LG batteries are good and fixed.

Even before this recall hit, GM had admitted in 2019 that the Bolt was never profitable. A 2016 report from Bloomberg said that GM was losing between $8,000 and $9,000 per Bolt sold. A 2017 teardown by UBS found that the number was probably closer to $4,000 or $5,000. GM was losing money on each Bolt that left the dealer’s lot. GM CEO Mary Barra said in a quarterly report in 2019 that GM did not expect to be profitable with EVs until about 2030. The recall means that GM has lost $17000-19000 for every Bolt.

To fix the battery fire problem, GM will replace the vehicles’ batteries which is the heart of EVs. Until the batteries are replaced, GM has recommended that Bolt owners park their vehicles outside and limit their battery’s state of charge to 90 percent or lower and do not let the estimated range dip below 70 miles. GM says it is working with LG Chem to ramp up production of the replacement cells.

All Hyundai Kona’s have also been recalled. Hyundai Kona (4200 sold Jan-July)was the 11th best-selling EV model in the US in 2021. Hyundai is recalling about 80,000 Kona’s worldwide and it will cost them about $900 million. The GM Bolt (20288 sold Jan-July) was the 3rd best-selling EV model in the US in 2021. The best-selling is the Tesla Model 3 (71600 sold Jan-July) and the Tesla Model Y (51,500 sold Jan-July). the Tesla Model X (6200) and Model S (5500) were still the 8th and 10th best-selling EVs in 2021 despite having production lines down for refresh most of the year. There were only 33,000 EVs sold in the US in Jan-July 2021 that were not recalled and were not Tesla EVs. This gives Tesla 80% US market for non-recalled EVs.

In 2020, GM’s Bolt was the third best-selling EV in the USA. Tesla had the other top 5 spots with the Model 3, Model Y, Model S and Model X. Hyundia Kona was ninth. The six top ten US EVs were not Tesla cars for 2020, there are only four top ten 2020 US EV models that are not Teslas and are not recalled.

GM and Hyundai will be stopped for 1-2 years fixing these old EVs. I think GM will not be rolling out new EVs in large numbers until they get their Ultium factory produces in perhaps 2022. LG Chem is also a partner for GM with the new Ultium battery factories.

GM made a bad choice for another strategic partnership. General Motors picked Nikola Motors as a strategic partner for electric trucks. Nikola and its CEO were involved in a massive fraud and GM did not figure out that Nikola was a fraud.

SOURCES -CNBC, GM, Nikola Motor, Business Insider
Written by Brian Wang, (Brian owns shares of Tesla)

48 thoughts on “GM EV Clowns”

  1. Have you noticed that no one has called a truce in el'Trumpos trade war? Chinese EVs in the US market … maybe, will they sell? Unlikely. Would you trust a Chinese product that costs as much as a car? Me neither.

  2. Wonder what the recycling looks like for the recovered cells?

    Are the Hyundai Kona cells the same LG cells as the Bolt?

    I wonder if GM would take the opportunity to build a different pack with different chemistry/design cells to the same interfaces, if they are effectively being forced to replace all deployed battery packs? Such as those Ultrium cells they are doing?

  3. Tarrifs did not work when the Japanese automakers invaded back in the 1970s. What makes you think it will protect the legacy auto industries in either North America or Europe?

  4. Congress are nothing more than errand boys, lap dogs doing the bidding of their masters, the $$$ behind getting their phoney baloney jobs.

    So, I invoked Colonel Kurtz and Mel Brooks, you just can’t argue with that logic

  5. We won't have another opec for these elements because despite all the talk non of them are actually rare 200 years ago when science created the periodic table of the elements. Many noticed a number missing elements. one group was particularly difficult to find and as a result they were oftener referred to rare earth elements. later scientists found out that they elements were literally everywhere. They were just hard to isolate. Now we know a lot more about the chemistry and properties. 

    Lithium which is not a rare earth element is also common. it is just a little harder to separate from potassium and sodium. Grphite is just crystalized carbon which is common and graphite can be manufactured from other sources of carbon.

    100 years ago no one was producing this materials because there were very few uses for them. The china communist party subsidized production to create a monopoly in the hope it would keep people bussy and prevent a revolution. They now own the rare earth market. However today rare earths have a number uses and asa result more mines are opening around the world to supply them. And china is putting more focus on manufacturing instead mining.

  6. I believe that the eventual top two contenders for the EV crown will be Tesla and BYD. It's rumored that Tesla is considering using BYD's "blade battery" in its future low priced Tesla for the Chinese market.

  7. What he does with money is a different thing. The details of cars are way crazy, unimportant style and such things. The scale of car business may mean more money, but he can leave the details to others. Like Bezos did with Amazon. He did not sell very much.

  8. Note: GM going bankrupt would be a GREAT thing.

    It would mean that companies like Google/Apple could buy them.

  9. As I said, graphite is a form of carbon. There is no shortage of carbon sources. Artificial graphite is made from petroleum coke (the solid residue of petroleum refining) and the slag from steelmaking.

  10. The worse it gets, the better investment in Space resources looks. People will dump their stockpiles and have fire sales when the big asteroid or lunar crater deposit is found. "how much money and time it realistically takes to get a mine into operation and ramped up." This is because of Earth subduction swallowing the goodies from asteroids. We are about to go look and see what is there in Space.

  11. People are totally insane when it comes to cars. Musk should pay attention to more important things. He has proven his basic EV point and will get lost in model types and style questions and hood ornaments.

  12. Criswell LSP headlines that 20-200 TWe are the plan. That is just electricity. Actually moving "heavy" industry to micr0g O'Neill setting will do a lot too. That was the 1970s plan. "till you've got a replacement" means you have to start at some point! Earth based efforts may be worth the cost, but they will not be the total solution. They are like trying to cool a car in the sun without being able to go outside and put up a shade. And no air for the AC from outside.

  13. I agree on the history, I've been strong Space Solar since 1977, so have no interest in fossil stuff. Glad to see Minn in the Exxon case. But, the H supply system for cars is needed, and those of us who do see true green H, from excess Earth Solar or Space Solar, as important don't want to wait for ourselves to supply said green H before starting on the other stuff. In fact, let the market decide, we will shortly win. Search Criswell LSP find searchanddiscovery link see ppg 12-13 for Earth to Earth power beaming. Add in the excess from intermittent overbuild of solar and wind on Earth, fossils dinoed. Then the same rectennae get space Solar for the big time.

  14. Everything gov does is bypassing the "free market" knows best lunacy, GM, SpaceX, stimulus checks, free vaccines etc. It's gov's job to run a society and not a free market business.

  15. a few now getting permits…
    Mining culture in US is certainly got baggage — if we can do a more fracking-like approach rather than strip, it may become more viable.

  16. Blue hydrogen is a "bridge" from gray hydrogen to black hydrogen from underground coal gasification. You can use the CO2 for enhanced oil-recovery for extra environmental damage.

  17. They're providing about two thirds of the energy for the entire world economy, so don't be in too much hurry to put them up against a wall till you've got a replacement. Solar and wind are about one percent.

  18. The big anti trust law were *actually* made to keep business from getting too large rather than keeping them honest because it was realized that gov corruption is too cheap and easy and only other business keeping an eye on each other would apply control of lawlessness. Maybe. "Free" in free market does not mean free to murder, it means free of murder. Libertarian.

  19. Well, anybody who does NOT check this out is missing a treat! Who wudda thunk it?

    I would add that batteries do not flow in pipes, and if you decide to burn them for heat instead of making electricity, well, don't.

  20. Its not a `serious criticism` is a presumption.
    It is indeed worth investigating Teslas FSD and finding out if Teslas do hit emergency vehicles is FSD is engaged? are drivers to blame (a number have been arrested at the scene for drink driving)
    to say ` Teslas on autopilot hitting emergency vehicles` is no different to saying `Mr Smith would not be on trial for murder if he didn`t murder people` his guilt is just being presumed where as the investigation and trial is trying to find out what actually happened.

  21. The trouble is when the government bails out GM they keep the free market from working properly. If GM dies other companies will fill its place, as it is there will be no other startups because everyone knows GM won’t be allowed to die for their mistakes. Other startups will be allowed to die.

  22. Yes, the "blue" H is not the solution, but it is a transition. The big news is Earth to Earth to power beaming taking advantage of overbuilt Earth solar farms. "Green" H can also do this, before or after transmission. If the energy is *free*, temp excess, the efficiency of green H production is immaterial. Between the two, fossil is dino. Add in Space Solar to the power beams, and off we go.

    Search Criswell LSP find searchanddiscovery link, see ppg 12 -13 for power beaming, but add in the excess Earth solar.

  23. Hydrogen keeps the oil/gas companies in play. After all of their lies, and all the damage they created, they deserve no future in the energy business. None.

  24. Does all these recalls means serious electric car competition isn't coming/here?
    Everyone should fight the insidious notion that all those EV sales by other companies rightfully belongs to Musk, same goes for rocket launches.

  25. It would help quite a bit if Teslas on autopilot would not hit emergency vehicles.

    (this is a serious criticism)

  26. going to rough…
    "… According to Mineral Commodity Summaries 2019, an annual report published by the United States Geological Survey, there are currently no graphite mines in the United States, a dearth that required domestic manufacturers to import mined graphite for roughly 40,000 metric tons of the carboniferous material…"

  27. Nah GM has been a joke for quite some time. Right now real EV competition for Tesla would be VW/Audi/Porsche.

    Don't worry though when GM goes bankrupt they will get another taxpayer bailout.

  28. yeah.
    not that straight-forward. Ocean floor exploitation is politically fraught:

    also, graphite quality is key: "…The anode material used in LiBs, called spherical graphite ("SPG"), is manufactured from either flake graphite concentrates produced by graphite mines or from synthetic graphite. Only flake graphite which can be economically rounded and upgraded to 99.95% purity can be used. The manufacturing process includes micronization, rounding, purification and heat treatment. The process is expensive and wastes up to 70% of the flake graphite feed. As a result, uncoated spherical graphite currently sells for up to USD3,000/tonne or over three times the price of large flake graphite. Coated spherical graphite sells for USD$4,000 to $12,000 per tonne depending on quality and end market. …"

  29. yep. and the only way that EVs will saturate is if prices are comparable or better than exisiting ICEs in at least maintenance and power/fuel, if not upfront capital costs in the next 3 – 7+ years…

  30. …and per comments there, the politics will then just be starting
    "… how reliable the non-G20 countries are for access to Li, Graphite, rare-earth, etc., resources. We don't want another OPEC of battery resources — an oligarchy of broken leadership of otherwise dysfunctional limited-resource states…"
    just witness the recent nonsense in that easy-to-permit area of North Carolina for Lithium – much push-back.

  31. Yep now the US government is trying to stop Tesla with investigations of every accident. Congress is getting involved with the investigation at the behest of their owners the auto and oil industries. The lapdogs (congress) will now bend Tesla over so they can extract revenge for not playing fair by being too innovative.

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