GM’s EV applications support its long-term ESG strategy

GM is directing a lot of investment into its long-term ESG strategy and following its sustainability report, we dive into its sustainability commitments

The electrification of the automotive sector is the most critical objective of carmakers. With many pure electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers entering the market, those with high stakes in the conventional car scene are taking the lead in sustainable e-mobility. Since 2018, the industry saw exponential growth in the uptake of EVs, with a 64% increase taking the total of on-road electric cars up to around 5.6 million.

While we usually think about consumer vehicles when looking at these figures, it’s also important to take into account the level of innovation that is electrifying buses and commercial vehicles like delivery trucks and vans. We recently covered the developments at BAE Systems and how it provides critical solutions for heavy vehicles.

General Motors (GM), the owner of brands like Chevrolet, GMC and Cadillac, continues to improve upon its commitment, which has seen previous success with firms like FedEx Express and Walmart

GM innovation electrifies logistics

GM’s electric logistics solution, BrightDrop introduced the company’s Ultium platform to the commercial vehicle sector—a modular propulsion system that changes the way EVs are developed and provides car brands with more flexibility. 

“BrightDrop offers a smarter way to deliver goods and services,” says Mary Barra, Chairman and CEO at GM

“We are building on our significant expertise in electrification, mobility applications, telematics and fleet management, with a new one-stop-shop solution for commercial customers to move goods in a better, more sustainable way.”

The BrightDrop vehicle was developed by the company’s Global Innovation organisation and pairs its BrightDrop Zevo—its all-electric delivery van—with its other technology solutions for both simplifying delivery (BrightDrop Trace) and traceability (BrightDrop Software). 

The development of the first-mile-last-mile logistics solution is centred around trends in the industry, which, according to the World Economic Forum, will grow by around 78% by 2030, with food and parcel delivery reaching a value of US$850bn in the US by 2025. 

What other sustainable innovation is occurring at GM? 

In late-April 2022, GM released its sustainability report from 2021, which outlines the company’s achievements throughout its previous year of operations. The report outlines a number of different areas that GM is looking to develop in, including environmentally-friendly design and carbon emissions reduction through vehicle innovations like battery technology and software. 

Sourcing is a critical factor in the sustainability of its automotive portfolio as GM continues to secure sustainable products and components for its vehicles and ensure that it purchases from organisations that meet human rights regulations. 
Stretching beyond the environmental aspects of the business, GM is also considering the development of its global workforce and integrating technology to streamline manufacturing and provide more opportunities to individuals within its current teams. Its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), can be seen through employee resource groups (ERGs) as more individuals are influenced to speak up about diversity, making employee retention an important factor in its business strategy.

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