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Buick Forced to Delay the Launch of Its Velite EV in China Due to Battery Supplier Issues

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Chinese drivers will have to wait a little bit longer for the Buick brand’s next electric offering

The Buick brand is currently experiencing unprecedented sales success throughout China. That success has convinced GM to introduce a number of new Buick models to the Chinese market.

Unfortunately, the release date for one of these models has evidently been pushed back. GM postponed the launch of the new Buick Velite 6 due to battery quality issues.

GM obtains the batteries used by its Chinese EVs from A123 Systems. According to the automaker, the latest batch of batteries from A123 were lacking in terms of both performance and safety.

“There are concerns with the quality of Chinese-manufactured cells and batteries,” stated Thomas Barrera, President of Long Beach battery consultancy LIB-X Consulting. “Chinese cells are very attractive because they’re inexpensive, but people may not realize that these cells may not have gone through the necessary qualification testing before going to market.”

A123 Systems started out its life as an American battery producer, based out of Livonia, Michigan. There, it produced battery packs for Fisker Automotive’s Karma model.

However, A123 was forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2012. Shortly after, Wanxiang Group acquired them.

The latest rendition of the Buick Velite, which is based on the Chevrolet Volt, will be offered as either a Plug-in Hybrid model or a purely electric vehicle. Production was originally set for September, but the battery issues have pushed that date back.

It’s currently unknown just how large of a delay that will be. Hopefully, Buick can quickly sort out these issues and get production started for the Velite 6.

News Source: GM Authority