General Motors (GM) have released the company’s 12th annual Sustainability Report. It outlines the company’s progress on expanding electric vehicle (EV) access, electrifying beyond the personal vehicle and helping to ensure that climate action is equitable and inclusive as the brand transitions to an all-electric future.
It’s impressive to see the huge change from GM. While they might not have been first to the table, they are certainly changing things rapidly on every level and see the future as electric and doing it sustainably. It’s inspiring to see such a radical transformation from one of the US’s biggest automakers.
In early 2021, GM set targets to become carbon neutral in its global products and operations by 2040 and work toward a transition to 100 percent zero tailpipe emissions for new light-duty vehicles by 2035.
GM continues to accelerate its transition to an all-electric future, planning to reach more than one million units of electric vehicle capacity in North America and China by 2025. In late 2021, it achieved a major milestone with the opening of Factory ZERO, GM’s first plant fully dedicated to electric vehicle assembly in Detroit and Hamtramck, Michigan.
In January, GM announced a $7 billion investment in four Michigan manufacturing sites, expected to create 4,000 new jobs and retain 1,000 jobs, while significantly increasing battery cell and electric truck manufacturing capacity.
Additional sites in Spring Hill, Tennessee, and Ingersoll, Ontario, are also in the process of converting to electric vehicle-related manufacturing with support from GM’s recent $35 billion investment in EV and autonomous vehicles through 2025. GM is also investing nearly $750 million through 2025 to expand charging for residences, workplaces and public areas.
Mary Barra, GM Chair and CEO, said: “General Motors is embracing our opportunity and our responsibility to create a better world for today and for generations to come.
“Our global teams are working with great speed and integrity to make our vision of a zero-emissions, all-electric future a reality that is inclusive and accessible to all.”
At the heart of GM’s electric vehicle strategy is the Ultium battery platform. This will be used to electrify everything from mass-market to high-performance vehicles and is expected to be a game-changer in driving down costs, increasing range and unleashing design potential.
The company introduced Ultium Charge 360, a holistic charging approach that integrates charging networks, GM vehicle mobile apps, and other products and services to simplify the overall charging experience for GM electric vehicle owners.
GM announced in June 2021 that it would prioritise equitable climate action to help ensure its all-electric future is inclusive for its current and future workforce, customers and communities that climate change may disproportionately impact.
The company’s focus on equitable climate action is rooted in four key areas and GM’s 2021 Sustainability Report demonstrates a connection to each:
- The Future of Work: The company reinforced the prioritization of its current salaried and represented workforce. This includes reiterating its long history of supporting unions to promote safety, quality, training and jobs for American workers. GM also publicly reiterated its support for the UAW’s efforts to organize employees at the Ohio and Tennessee Ultium Cells LLC battery cell manufacturing plants.
- EV Access: The company will offer a wide selection of EVs across a range of price points, from the Chevrolet Bolt EV to the Cruise Origin shared autonomous vehicle. GM also recently announced programs leveraging its HYDROTEC fuel cells for rail and aircraft applications, which could help pave the way for communities to experience the benefits of zero-emissions mobility beyond the motor vehicle.
- Infrastructure Equity: GM is committed to ubiquitous charging solutions that can help meet customers where they are. The company also understands the need to help address charging deserts and other scenarios that can hinder EV ownership.
- Climate Equity: GM launched its $50 million Climate Equity Fund. Since its launch, the fund has supported 30 nonprofit organisations that are working to close the climate equity gap at the community level.
GM also launched BrightDrop, which offers a portfolio of all-electric first-to-last-mile products, software and services, including electric delivery vans and e-carts, to empower delivery and logistics companies to help move goods more efficiently.
These BrightDrop solutions, which are already on the road making deliveries with customers today, are designed to help businesses lower costs, maximise productivity, improve employee safety and freight security, and support sustainability efforts.
The 2021 Sustainability Report can be viewed in full and downloaded at: