The new electric Hummer is going to debut next week, which is exciting for everyone involved but the fact is that GM has made electric cars for nearly a decade now. Except now GM really, really wants you to know that it’s all about electric and all things future.
The company issued a press release today announcing that its Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center plant will subsequently be known as Factory ZERO. Why? Because of a future that GM envisions that definitely—I’m being sarcastic, to be clear—will happen someday.
The name Factory ZERO reflects the significance of this facility in advancing GM’s zero-crashes, zero-emissions and zero-congestion future. Factory ZERO will be the launchpad for GM’s multi-brand EV strategy. The facility has advanced technology and tooling and was designed with a focus on sustainable manufacturing. The GMC HUMMER EV pickup and the Cruise Origin, a purpose-built electric, self-driving, shared vehicle, and other GM EVs will be built at Factory ZERO. Production of the GMC HUMMER EV pickup will begin in late 2021.
Now, before you mock this, know that there is some meat on the bone, as GM says it will power all of its US facilities with renewable energy by 2030, and the same for all of its facilities across the globe by 2040. And GM is making a big push into electric, even as it churns out Chevy Silverados, so I can almost buy “zero-emissions,” as an aspiration.
“Zero-crashes” and “zero-congestion” are a bit more dubious, however, relying I guess on the assumption that the Cruise Origin will solve both of those problems. “Zero-crashes” would rely on GM perfectly executing on self-driving, a very dubious proposition given how hard it’s been for every other company, while “zero-congestion” would rely on the idea that autonomous cars will solve traffic problems, another dubious proposition.
That said, I’m happy that GM at least *aspires* to do these things, something that I would not have taken as a given even a year or two ago. Though by even just saying these things GM puts the pressure all on itself. We’ll see what its execution looks like.