Today’s a big day for GM and its commitment to an all-electric future as the automaker opens its Factory ZERO EV assembly plant in Detroit.
US President Joe Biden will attend the formal opening and tour the facility later in the day, but the plant has already hosted an event in the morning. GM CEO Mary Barra rang the opening bell for the New York Stock Exchange straight from the factory floor (see video above).
The grand opening of the Factory ZERO EV assembly plant happens less than two years after GM announced a massive $2.2 billion investment to fully renovate the facility formerly known as Detroit-Hamtramck to build several all-electric trucks and SUVs.
“GM’s U.S. manufacturing expertise is key to achieving our all-electric future. This is a monumental day for the entire GM team. We retooled Factory ZERO with the best, most advanced technology in the world to build the highest quality electric vehicles for our customers.”
GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra
Named after the significant role it plays in advancing GM’s vision of a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion, Factory ZERO will build the 2022 GMC Hummer EV Pickup, 2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV, Chevrolet Silverado EV and the Cruise Origin self-driving shared vehicle.
Gallery: 2022 GMC Hummer EV Pickup Production At Factory ZERO
The first to enter production is the GMC Hummer EV pickup, for which pre-production began this fall. According to GM, the first electric trucks are on track to be delivered to customers by the end of the year.
All these EVs will be built on GM’s Ultium Platform that sits at the heart of the company’s EV product strategy. This modular EV-dedicated architecture encompasses propulsion components like battery cells, modules, packs, drive units, EV motors and integrated power electronics.
Ultium will allow GM to commonize and streamline machinery, tooling and assembly processes, with this flexibility enabling lower capital investments and greater efficiencies. Furthermore, the automaker estimates that 80% of the assembly process for an EV is the same as that for conventional vehicles, allowing it to produce an EV in the same number of working hours it takes to build an ICE vehicle.
Factory ZERO will employ more than 2,200 people when fully operational.
“Our people are GM’s true competitive advantage—an advantage you simply can’t buy or quickly build. At Factory ZERO, we are building on that experience with the training that will deliver EV and AV launch success with safety, quality and speed while continuing to drive down cost per unit.”
Gerald Johnson, GM’s executive vice president of Global Manufacturing and Sustainability