The brand's Ultium platform, as well its BrightDrop delivery van segment, play key roles in GM's vision for an electrified future. - Source: GM

The brand's Ultium platform, as well its BrightDrop delivery van segment, play key roles in GM's vision for an electrified future.

Source: GM

General Motors released its 12th annual Sustainability Report on April 28, detailing its progress on expanding EV access, electrifying beyond the personal vehicle, and helping to ensure that climate action is equitable and inclusive as the company transitions to an all-electric future. 

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% 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 1 million units of EV capacity in each of North America and China by 2025, according to the company's announcement. In late 2021, it achieved a major milestone: the opening of Factory ZERO, GM’s first plant fully dedicated to EV 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 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 EV-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.

“General Motors is embracing our opportunity and our responsibility to create a better world for today and for generations to come,” said GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra. “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 EV strategy is the Ultium battery platform, which will 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 announcement said. The company introduced Ultium Charge 360, a charging solution 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 prioritize 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 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 non-profit organizations 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, maximize productivity, improve employee safety and freight security, and support sustainability efforts. 

GM reports its annual data in accordance with several reporting frameworks, including the Global Reporting Initiative, Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, UN Global Compact, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.  

The 2021 Sustainability Report can be viewed and downloaded at GMsustainability.com. 

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