GM has given its Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center a new role and a new name. The plant will henceforth be known as Factory ZERO, and will be retooled for the exclusive production of battery-electric vehicles.
The new title is meant to evoke a future automotive world with zero emissions, zero crashes and zero congestion. There may also be another, more subtle resonance: a century ago, GM built a new plant in Flint, which it named Factory One, in order to emphasize the transition from the horse-and-buggy era to the age of ICE vehicles.
GM says its planned $2.2-billion investment in Factory ZERO, the largest single investment in a plant in company history, will position the facility to build EVs at mass-market scale. The renovated plant will have the same capacity as before—up to 270,000 vehicles per year. Once fully operational, it’s expected to support some 2,200 manufacturing jobs.
Future products to be built at Factory ZERO include the GMC Hummer EV and the Cruise Origin self-driving people-mover. Both of these will be built on GM’s new Ultium battery platform, “the heart of GM’s future EV lineup,” which will use large-format battery cells co-developed by GM and LG Chem, and manufactured at a joint facility in Ohio.
GM is redesigning Factory ZERO with sustainability in mind. Concrete waste has been repurposed to create temporary roadways, recycled stormwater will be used in cooling towers and the fire suppression system, and the site will include a 16.5-acre wildlife habitat. Factory ZERO features a 30-kilowatt solar carport and 516-kilowatt ground-mount solar array, and GM says the facility will be powered entirely by renewable energy by 2023.
“This manufacturing plant will be the epitome of GM’s vision by sustainably manufacturing electric and shared autonomous vehicles that can help reduce crashes, emissions and congestion,” said Dane Parker, GM’s Chief Sustainability Officer.
“Factory ZERO is the next battleground in the EV race, and will be GM’s flagship assembly plant in our journey to an all-electric future,” said Gerald Johnson, GM’s Executive VP of Global Manufacturing. “The electric trucks and SUVs that will be built here will help transform GM and the automotive industry.”