For more than a century, automobiles have driven our society and economy, giving us unprecedented mobility and transforming the way we work and live.
Today, we are in the midst of another revolution as groundbreaking technologies and evolving customer lifestyles transform our vehicles and how we use them.
At General Motors, our vision of a future with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion addresses the challenges associated with the freedom of mobility. This bold, ambitious vision has the potential each year to save 1.25 million lives by eliminating human error, the root of more than 90 percent of crashes; eliminate over 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide; and give commuters back the week of time they spend in traffic.
Autonomous, electric, shared and connected vehicles will fuel this transformation. Each is leading-edge on its own. Combined, they will provide customers with safer, better and more sustainable vehicles.
Our journey to this future is underway. We have the right team, the right technology, the right partners and the global manufacturing scale to bring these innovative solutions to more customers, more quickly. And our strategy to transform GM into the world’s most valued automotive company includes several major initiatives to lead this revolution.
Self-driving vehicles will reinvent our society, not only by reducing crashes and saving lives, but also by unlocking the power of mobility for those unable to drive.
General Motors is the only company with a fully integrated solution to produce self-driving vehicles at scale. With our 2017 acquisition of LiDAR developer Strobe, we now have every capability—from simulation and mapping software to safety validation and autonomous vehicle (AV)-specific vehicle design—under one roof. And we’ve moved quickly, developing three generations of self-driving vehicle technology in just 14 months.
After more than a year of building test vehicles, we are shifting to build production versions at our Orion Assembly plant in Michigan. The Cruise AV, which is part of our plans to commercialize in a dense urban area in 2019, will be the first production-ready vehicle built from the ground up to operate safely without a driver, steering wheel, pedals or manual controls. It represents a significant milestone on our path to deploying self-driving vehicles next year.
In preparation, we filed a Safety Report and Safety Petition with the U.S. Department of Transportation in January 2018 to enable us to safely deploy our Cruise AV zero-emission, self-driving vehicle.
Last month, we further strengthened our plans to commercialize AV technology at large scale through a landmark deal with the SoftBank Vision Fund, the world’s largest tech and ridesharing investor. SoftBank is investing $2.25 billion and General Motors is investing $1.1 billion in GM Cruise, a new, majority-owned subsidiary. With SoftBank as a partner, we gain a tech leader that shares our vision, believes in our long-term business model and appreciates our integrated approach to AV development. It also strengthens our ability to attract high-tech talent, which is vital to our success.
In the interim, we continue to rigorously push our test vehicles to their limits to get the safest, smartest AVs on the road as soon as possible. The majority of our testing is taking place in San Francisco, a highly complex urban driving environment with unpredictable situations that arise nearly 50 times more often than in suburban settings.
To give customers a glimpse into a self-driving future, we are introducing driver-assist technologies. Last fall, Cadillac introduced Super Cruise technology in the 2018 CT6 sedan. Using cameras and radar, Super Cruise can safely pilot the vehicle on the highway without driver input, tracking facial expressions to ensure the driver’s eyes are on the road.
We believe autonomous vehicles must also be electric vehicles. AV systems integrate more seamlessly with EVs than vehicles with conventional internal combustion engines. All-electric AVs also will help accelerate more widespread adoption of electric propulsion technologies, allowing us to move faster to achieve our goal of eliminating crashes, emissions and congestion.
Baojun E100 battery electric vehicles in China.
In 2017, our own groundbreaking Chevrolet Bolt EV, Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid and Cadillac CT6 Plug-in accounted for nearly a quarter of industry EV and plug-in sales in the U.S. Furthermore, we have seen a dramatic increase in customer miles traveled in our electric vehicles since we introduced the Volt in 2010.
As of December 2017, drivers of five GM electrified models, including the Bolt EV, have racked up more than 2.6 billion EV miles. We are encouraged by this momentum and plan to increase Bolt EV production in response to global demand during 2018.
And this is just the beginning of our path to an all-electric future, to which we remain committed, regardless of fuel economy standards. We have seen the cost of developing, owning and operating an EV decrease as battery technology advances and as we drive cost efficiencies. In fact, we are well on our way to bringing at least 20 new, all-electric models to market globally by 2023—our next step toward a zero-emissions world.
China is an important part of our strategy and is currently the world’s largest market for electric vehicles. A new battery plant in Shanghai, through our SAIC-General Motors joint venture, will help position us to lead in that market. By 2020, we will introduce at least 10 plug-in hybrids or EVs in China, and we have already launched the Buick Velite 5 extended-range EV, Cadillac CT6 Plug-in and Baojun E100 battery electric vehicle and introduced the Buick Velite 6 plug-in hybrid and Velite 6 EV.
A successful transition to EVs also depends on a robust charging network, assuring consumers they can drive their EVs anywhere, anytime. In the U.S., EVs from all manufacturers can access about 17,000 public charging stations—including about 2,000 DC fast chargers—but more will be needed as more consumers discover the benefits of EVs. We’re committed to working with utilities and other partners to accelerate the availability of chargers.
A Chevrolet Cruze, equipped with vehicle-to-pedestrian (V2P) technology, offering enhanced safety for both drivers and pedestrians.
One source of insights on EV charging comes from Maven, General Motors’ shared mobility platform, where the Bolt EV is among customers’ most popular choices.
Maven is helping us capitalize on the growing popularity of car-sharing, ridesharing and the freelance—or “gig”—economy, especially among millennials. Each shared vehicle can take approximately 10 others off the road, significantly reducing congestion in cities.
With a fleet of General Motors vehicles available on demand through a mobile app, Maven operates in 17 North American cities, and its customers have driven more than 290 million miles. We’ve also partnered with EVgo to provide access to hundreds of chargers in major markets for our Maven Gig Bolt EV drivers.
Underlying these innovations—self-driving cars, electrification and shared mobility—is a powerful technological infrastructure. Our 20-plus years of OnStar leadership gives us an industry advantage, with nearly 14 million members on the road, and up to 245,000 member calls every day.
We’ve integrated sustainability into our business strategy and core operations. A sustainable mindset and focus on environmental, social and governance issues drives long-term value.
Today, our vehicle manufacturing process has the lowest environmental footprint in our history, thanks to steady progress toward achieving our 2020 operational commitments to reduce energy, carbon, water and waste intensity. In fact, we surpassed our carbon intensity commitment three years early, with a 22 percent reduction in operational carbon emissions since 2010.
Our footprint will continue to decrease as we get closer toward our goal of using 100 percent renewable energy to power all our global operations by 2050. By the end of 2018 we expect to be 20 percent of the way there.
In early 2018, our Flint Metal Center and Flint Engine Operations began drawing electricity from a wind farm in nearby Tuscola County—about 110,000 total megawatt hours per year. A dedicated energy procurement team continues to seek opportunities in wind, sun and landfill gas as they become available.
Also, with the recent addition of 27 newly certified facilities, General Motors has 142 landfill-free facilities globally—more than any other automaker. All our manufacturing operations in Canada, Mexico and South America are officially landfill free. General Motors has committed to reach 150 landfill-free operations globally by 2020, with the long-term aspiration of becoming a zero-waste company.
Third parties recognize our commitment. General Motors is the only automaker on the 2017 Dow Jones Sustainability Index for North America, and is also on the World Index. We have also been named to CDP’s Global Climate A List for disclosure and performance on climate change impacts, and its Supplier Climate A List for driving down emissions across our supply chain.
Participants at “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day” at the Global Technical Center in Warren, Michigan.
Innovating for the future requires new skillsets and new ways of thinking. Our diverse and inclusive team brings wide-ranging perspectives and experiences to solving the complex transportation challenges of today and tomorrow.
Forty percent of our salaried employees have been with General Motors five years or less. These men and women, drawn from many of the same sources that feed the global tech economy, bring skills that complement the engineering and manufacturing expertise of our long-time General Motors employees. We recruit and train new employees with a focus on our values and on winning with integrity.
As a company committed to reinventing transportation for all, we want and need everyone to participate. So, we are working to close the gender gap in engineering by investing in partnerships with national STEM advocates like Girls Who Code and Code.org. We have also increased our focus on vehicle and road safety and community empowerment, so we can enable more people to participate in the global economy and someday engage with General Motors as employees, suppliers or customers.
We are General Motors. We transformed how the world moved in the last century. And we’re determined to do it again as we redefine mobility to serve our customers and shareholders, solve societal challenges and create new social value.
We are ready. We are leading. And we are working hard as one team, with integrity, to create a world that is safer, better and more sustainable for all.
Mary T. Barra
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer