A few years ago, many new car manufacturing companies came forward with something very exciting: electric cars! It was a new offering and tech-savvy customers were over the moon with this futuristic advancement in the automobile industry. It took veteran automobile manufacturers quite some time to catch up on the trend but we can finally see some big names in the game. Noteworthy is General Motors.
General Motors Corporation was founded by William C. Durant on September 16, 1908. It was then created as a holding company. General Motors has for 77 long years been at the top of global vehicle sales. This is a record only held by General Motors alone! It has production of vehicles in 37 countries around the globe.
Although it filed for bankruptcy in 2009, and the old company by the name of General Motors Corporation was purchased along with most of its assets and its brand name by a new company called General Motors Company, it rose somewhat to its former glory in 2012, when it ranked among the largest car manufacturers in the world once again.
In order to stay on top of their game, General Motors has announced that it will unveil 20 new car models, all electric, by 2023. As if this announcement wasn’t surprising enough, the company also hinted at an ‘all-electric’ future.
Mark Reuss, GM Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain EVP, recently stated his company’s future plans to consist of solely electric cars! He said, “Although that future won’t happen overnight, GM is committed to driving increased usage and acceptance of electric vehicles through no-compromise solutions that meet our customers’ needs.”
General Motors is already producing electric vehicles. But it is their commitment to the environment by pursuing zero emissions technology in vehicles and plans of using renewable energy resources for manufacturing all their vehicles which are especially praiseworthy. With the Chevy Bolt electric vehicle under their belt, General Motors has plans of producing two new all-electric vehicles in the next 2 years.
In order to achieve their goal of a zero-emissions future, the battery electric technology is not enough. The company is pursuing hydrogen fuel cells use in their vehicles. General Motor’s SURUS runs on such fuel cells. It is also not enough to use zero emissions technology in vehicles on the one hand but use traditional sources of energy for manufacturing its vehicles on the other.
In order to truly achieve its goal, General Motors is planning to invest in clean energy sources such as windmills for the production of electricity. It is already underway and the company is buying 200 megawatts of wind energy from wind farms in Illinois and Ohio. These windmills will start contributing 20% of the company’s electricity use from 2018.
With the support of Altenex, an Edison Energy Company, and an independent renewable energy advisor, GM negotiated the power purchase contracts. 100 megawatts will be provided by the Northwest Ohio Wind farm, whereas another 100 megawatts will be obtained from Swift Current Energy from its HillTopper Wind Project in Logan County, Illinois.
Therefore, all cars manufactured by the company in Indiana and Ohio will be built solely using wind energy. This is a very important step forward and the company is going in the right direction. Such futuristic plans will contribute positively to the company’s overall image as well as customer loyalty. More and more people are understanding the importance of preserving our environment because we have been bearing the brunt of climate change and its negative effects on our world for quite some time now. This step taken by General Motors is a leap into the future of automobile manufacturing.
GM has recently joined the RE100. RE100 is an initiative of all the big names in businesses worldwide to switch to renewable energy. Helen Clarkson, CEO, the Climate Group has stated, “GM vocally champions the compelling business case for renewables and shares learnings with other companies. It shows other companies what’s possible.”
In order to fulfill its goal of 100% clean energy by 2050, General Motors is making use of various onsite and offsite renewable energy resources. It has been doing so for decades. The company has been making big savings annually as a result of the clean energy use.
The goal of reaching zero emissions coincides with using clean energy and everyone at GM knows both of these goals are essential for each other. Thus, 350 facilities in 59 countries will be running on 100% renewable energy by the year 2050. That is the mission and commitment of the company.
Apart from wind energy, the company is also making use of solar energy. At present, it uses electric vehicle batteries to store the solar energy. The company is looking into using fuel cells for energy storage in future instead of the EV batteries.
Rob Threlkeld, GM global manager of renewable energy said, “We’re helping provide solutions to green the grid through these new renewable energy deals and sharing best practices with other companies so they too can reduce risk and energy costs. With a pragmatic strategy, companies can turn ambitious renewable energy goals into action and scale quickly.”
General Motors Company makes use of solar power at 26 facilities. It also produces electricity from landfill gas at two of its assembly plants. Therefore, through various means and using its resources in a variety of ways, General Motors is moving towards its 100% renewable energy usage mark. It has become vital to the company to do so because renewable energy is the future of businesses worldwide.
It is the most reliable source of energy as it will never run out. One can bank on these sources to run forever. Non-renewable energy sources, on the other hand, are depleting day by day as they are used and will one day be gone. Therefore, the shift to renewable sources of energy is a pragmatic and intelligent move, pro-actively securing the future.
Also, our environment is suffering greatly due to the use of traditional sources of energy production because of their harmful impacts and emissions. Climate change is directly associated with it. And it isn’t just businesses which are switching to clean energy sources. Countries like Iceland and Norway have already made the switch. They run on 100% renewable energy and generate all their electricity using that source. Similarly, many other countries such as Denmark have set a goal to reach 100% renewable energy in the future.