Vote 2020 graphic
Everything you need to know about and expect during
the most important election of our lifetimes

GM Says It Is All About The Future Now

Illustration for article titled GM Says It Is All About The Future Now
Photo: Getty Images (Getty Images)

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.

Advertisement

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.

Emphasis mine:

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.

Advertisement

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.

News Editor at Jalopnik. 2008 Honda Fit Sport.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

adadsupreme
ADadSupreme

Maybe they see/saw the writing on the wall?

Mr. fracking “BigOil/Clean Coal” Trump is likely on his way out. He has to keep pushing that dinosaur resource line to keep the Far Right voters happy. Biden by alternative is pushing a huge green jobs agenda that pleases the Left and possibly the Center.

GM probably sees this as a win/win since companies like Volkswagen are currently flipping Europe to EVs and can use it as an excuse to start phasing out ICE vehicles without scorn. China already has a huge advantage over US carmakers as well so it’s the only way they’ll stay in the game long term. The longer GM/US carmakers delay, the further back they will fall behind.

EVs present a whole new business opportunity: Young first-time buyers who are looking to be loyal to a car brand, not just willing to settle for “Daddy drove a Buick so I’m a Buick guy too”. Getting them to buy their first EVs from your company could mean decades of loyalty which Tesla has already noticed. Most Tesla buyers will jump off a cliff if Elon tells them too considering how they have been willing to put up with many things previous car buyers would never have.

If (big if) Biden wins and comes in with as many EV/alternative fuel subsidies and jobs as he’s pushing pre-election, then GM will be far ahead of US competition like Ford.