GMC Hummer EV to Be Built at Hamtramck (MI) ‘Factory Zero’

  • GM used to build the Chevy Volt there, but just as the automaker made the transition to the Bolt EV, gasoline engines will be a thing of the past in Hamtramck, which will only build electric vehicles moving forward.
  • The GMC Hummer EV will be the first all-electric vehicle built at the newly named Factory Zero, but the Cruise Origin and other electric vehicles will follow.
  • Factory Zero has the features you might expect from a green-minded plant, like more than 500 kW of solar power generation and a 16-acre wildlife habitat.

    The former home of the Chevrolet Volt is ditching any remnant of its gasoline-engine past in favor of an all-electric future. Just as the Volt gave way to the all-electric Bolt EV in Chevy’s lineup, General Motors’ Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center will be going all electric as it is changing its name to, drumroll please, Factory Zero.

    GM will build the GMC Hummer EV pickup as well as the bespoke Cruise Origin, an electric, self-driving vehicle that will be used by Cruise in its autonomous, shared ride hailing program at Factory Zero. GM said it will build other, not-yet-revealed EVs there in the future.

    GM announced in January that Detroit-Hamtramck would build only EVs, but the new name announcement comes just before GM reveals more details about the Hummer EV as part of an advertising campaign that will take place during the baseball World Series and the popular music show The Voice next week. The all-electric Hummer will be the first vehicle built in the revamped Factory Zero, with production scheduled to start in late 2021.
    The factory’s new name comes with three meanings, facets of GM’s plans for a “zero-crashes, zero-emissions, and zero-congestion” future. GM invested $2.2 billion—the single largest investment in a plant in GM history—to retool and upgrade the plant for EVs. The changes will create more than 2200 manufacturing jobs once the factory is fully operational, GM said.

    gm hamtramck factory zero interior

    Jeffrey Sauger/GM

    gm hamtramck factory zero interior

    Conversion to Factory Zero in progress. 

    Before the change, GM built the Cadillac CT6 and the Chevrolet Impala in Detroit-Hamtramck. To shift over to EVs, the paint and body shops and the general assembly area are getting new machines, conveyors, controls, and tooling installed. GM also applied sustainable manufacturing ideas for Factory Zero. That meant turning waste concrete into temporary roadways and using treated stormwater in cooling towers and the fire-suppression system. The grounds also include a 16.5-acre wildlife habitat as well as a 30-kilowatt solar carport and a 516-kilowatt ground-mounted photovoltaic solar array.

    GM’s executive vice-president of global manufacturing, Gerald Johnson, called Factory Zero “the next battleground in the EV race” and “GM’s flagship assembly plant in our journey to an all-electric future.” So, while the Hummer and the Origin are the first announced EVs that will come from Factory Zero, they’re just a start. The GM Ultium battery platform they both share can be used to make a wide range of all-electric “cars, trucks and more,” GM said.

    There are more than zero other green-minded auto plants in the world, of course. Subaru has been operating its Indiana plant as a zero-waste-to-landfill operation since 2004, reusing or recycling everything it uses to build the Outback, Ascent, Legacy, and Impreza there. In 2011, Volkswagen’s plant in Tennessee became the first auto plant in the world to achieve LEED Platinum status. In 2018, GM issued a “Business Case for Zero Waste” and revealed that it operates 142 landfill-free facilities around the world.

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