After an investment of 2,200 million dollars, General Motors inaugurated its long-awaited Factory ZERO, or ‘zero factory’ in Spanish, an assembly plant that will be dedicated to the construction of pickup trucks and electric SUVs of the various divisions of General Motors designed on the Ultium platform for electric vehicles. Factory ZERO was built on the foundations of the former General Motors Detroit / Hamtramck plant located on the border that separates the two cities with the same names in the state of Michigan.
Factory ZERO’s physical location has been dedicated to building automobiles for 110 years. The Dodge brothers opened their first plant dedicated to the construction of vehicles there in 1911. The defunct Chrysler Corporation sold the place to General Motors in 1980 who transformed it into what was then a modern assembly plant opened in 1985, which assembled its last conventional vehicle, a red Chevrolet Impala, on February 27, 2020, to make way for its billion-dollar transformation into an electric car factory.
The inauguration of Factory ZERO was attended by the President of the United States Joe Biden, whose recently enacted Infrastructure Law includes 7.5 billion dollars for the construction of a national network of 400,000 charging stations for electric cars, and who after managing the New promised that “the jobs of the future end here in Michigan, not on the other side of the world,” referring to the jobs created around the construction of electric vehicles. This was Biden’s second experience behind the wheel of an electric pickup, which who has already driven more electric pickups than most people on the planet, looked comfortable behind the wheel of the Hummer EV pickup.
General Motors President and CEO Mary Barra added that “General Motors’ manufacturing experience in the United States is key to achieving our all-electric future.” When fully operational, Factory ZERO will employ more than 2,200 employees.
The first confirmed vehicles to roll off Factory ZERO’s assembly lines will be the 2022 GMC HUMMER EV pickup, the 2024 GMC HUMMER EV SUV, the Chevrolet Silverado EV to be revealed in January. at the Consumer Electronics Show CES 2022 in the city of Las Vegas and the Cruise Origin, an electric vehicle without a steering wheel or pedals, for fleets of shared transport services.
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All the electric vehicles produced in Factory ZERO will be built on the Ultium platform, whose architecture supports various components such as cell-type, modular, or packet-type batteries, different propulsion units and electric motors and integrated power electronics, which give the manufacturer the flexibility to make strategic changes to achieve maximum efficiency in the product mix and in the assembly process.
“To meet our ambitious EV transition, GM’s electric vehicle assembly capacity in North America will reach 20 percent by 2025 and then 50 percent by 2030,” said Gerald Johnson, executive vice president, Global Manufacturing and Sustainability. of General Motors. And he added that the experiences gained in the operation of Factory ZERO will serve “as a model for the transitions that will take place in other factories around the world in the coming years.”
General Motors estimates that 80 percent of the electric vehicle assembly process is the same as that of conventional vehicles, something the manufacturer has been doing for more than a century, but the realities of climate change have imposed new solutions on old problems as old solutions are completely unacceptable.
General Motors reused or recycled nearly all of the debris that came out of the Detroit / Hamtramck conversion to Factory ZERO, including crushed concrete from the old plant floor, which was used to build temporary roads around the facility. Rainwater is recycled to reduce discharge costs and offset the cost of potable water and is treated for use in the plant’s cooling towers and fire suppression system.
The site also features a 30 kilowatt sunroof parking lot and a 516 kW ground mounted photovoltaic solar panel and maintains a 16.5 acre wildlife habitat that is home to monarch butterflies, foxes and turkeys among other indigenous species. of the area.
General Motors says the Factory ZERO operation will play a direct role in its commitment to eliminate exhaust emissions from new light vehicles by 2035 and makes its global products and operations ‘carbon neutral’ by 2040.