General Motors’ Mary Barra on Putting Everyone in an Electric Vehicle
As an engineer, I’ve always looked at how to improve situations and solve challenges. Engineers have the ability to imagine what’s next and then make it happen. At its very core, engineering improves people’s lives.
As Chairman and CEO of General Motors, I now have a unique opportunity – and responsibility – to use my engineering mindset to help make the world a better place on a much larger scale. At General Motors, we have a vision of zero crashes, zero emissions, zero congestion. It is our north star that guides everything we do. I am grateful every day to lead a company with a vision that I am so passionate about.
Cars are my life, starting from a young age to working in GM’s manufacturing plants, to being able to test drive every vehicle under the sun. Cars are a symbol of freedom – a way to achieve personal independence. They revolutionized our entire society. And now, more than 100 years later, we have the opportunity to revolutionize society again.
The Future Looks Good – from General Motors
GM first introduced Americans to the concept of highways and expressways at the “Futurama” exhibit during the World’s Fair in 1939. The inspiration behind highways was to facilitate the journeys people desired, and better connect people by paving a pathway between cities and towns. As 2039 approaches, this concept of connection and desire to take people places they want to go remains at the core of GM’s vision for a future with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion.
Our zero-emissions, all-electric future is underway right now, and we are moving faster than ever. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we quickly brought our manufacturing capability to bear to produce masks and ventilators. Yet we never lost a beat on our all-electric strategy. The pace of progress is visible in our recent $2 billion investment at our Spring Hill, Tennessee plant to transform it to build EVs, including our Cadillac LYRIQ. This is our third site, joining Factory Zero in Detroit-Hamtramck, and Orion assembly in Lake Orion, Michigan, to build electric vehicles. These investments underscore how committed we are to transform GM and our brands into an all-electric lineup.
We also revealed the world’s first all-electric supertruck: the GMC HUMMER EV. Powered by our Ultium battery system, HUMMER EV proves there are no compromises when it comes to innovation and capability, offering zero to 60 in approximately three seconds, 1,000 horsepower and 11,500 lb.-ft. of torque.
Ultium, our highly flexible global EV platform is a game changer in driving down costs, increasing range and opening the design potential. It’s also a differentiating technology platform that is bringing other companies to our doorstep. EVs – and the technology we’re engineering to create them – are key to the growth trajectory at GM. I believe with all the assets we have, we will win. And we will create a more sustainable world for future generations.
Article by Mary Barra, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at General Motors (originally published on October 26, 2020 on LinkedIn.com). Mary Barra is ranked #2 in the 2020 List of Most Powerful Women in Business by Fortune.
Note to Readers – Read Mary Barra’s article on the Next 25 Years of Transportation entitled “Our Vision for Moving Humanity Forward” that she wrote for GreenMoney in mid-2017.