General Motors Sustainability in China
GM China, our joint ventures and partners, and our employees are fully committed to helping make communities across China greener, safer and healthier through our engagement in a broad range of socially responsible activities. They include the GM Restoring Nature’s Habitat Project, which is protecting vulnerable wetlands in eastern China; the GM Safe Road Project, which is educating the public about road safety; the Chevrolet Red Chalk Program, which is sending volunteer teachers to disadvantaged rural communities; and the Partners for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering Education (PACE) Program, which is training the next generation of industry professionals. We are also there for our neighbors when they need our help the most, such as providing funds and vehicles following last year’s tragic earthquake in Ya’an, Sichuan.
As vehicle ownership continues to rise in China, so does the urgency for overcoming the challenges associated with it, such as congestion and traffic accidents. As a responsible corporate citizen and an automotive industry leader, we believe we have a vital role to play creating and executing viable solutions for these challenges. GM researchers, designers and engineers around the world are working around the clock to find smart new solutions to make the transportation experience more convenient, safer and cleaner. We are introducing the latest industry technology in our vehicles to improve performance while reducing emissions.
Our first responsibility is to create vehicles that are smarter and automatically help reduce crashes and injuries. The next step is to weave in connectivity and all the opportunities that it opens up. We believe that by adding intelligence, connectivity and more automated controls to our vehicles, we’ll be able to make them fundamentally better by every measure – performance, safety, emissions, efficiency, functionality and design.
At Expo 2010 in Shanghai, GM and our Chinese partner SAIC showcased our vision of sustainable urban mobility in the year 2030. Our vision introduced a future of driving that will be free from petroleum, free from emissions, free from accidents and free from congestion, and a future in which driving will be more fun and fashionable than ever before.
To show that our vision of a cleaner, safer and more convenient future for urban transportation is not just some far-off dream and that many of the technologies for taking us there already exist, we introduced a purpose-built urban vehicle that was a highlight of Expo 2010. We called it EN-V – which is short for Electric Networked-Vehicle. The two-seat concept was propelled by electric motors in each of its two driving wheels. Power was provided by rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that produced zero emissions. It was capable of going 40 kilometers on a single charge. Its size and maneuverability would enable a parking lot to accommodate five times as many EN-Vs as typical automobiles. This would make it the ideal vehicle for the world’s megacities, as well as places where low-speed vehicles can be used – such as corporate and academic campus settings.
Since the close of Expo 2010, GM has been hard at work transforming our vision into reality. We created our Roadmap to 2030 to serve as a blueprint for guiding us to the future. A new generation of our concept – the Chevrolet EN-V 2.0 – is part of that. Designed, engineered and built in Shanghai, EN-V 2.0 has room for two people and their items such as briefcases, groceries and small suitcases.
Like its predecessor, EN-V 2.0 can travel up to 40 kilometers on a single charge. It also offers many autonomous features such as automated valet parking and retrieval. We are using the second-generation EN-V to study the potential for a networked vehicle in an urban environment as well as for car sharing. We think a vehicle like this concept can play an especially important role in a “first mile – last mile” model. Users would arrive in an urban area via public transportation and then borrow an EN-V 2.0 to finish their commute – driving short distances to get to their final destination and then back to the public transportation hub at the end of the day.
GM is also reducing the environmental impact of our vehicles and the plants that manufacture them. Our manufacturing joint ventures and many of their suppliers are actively engaged in the Green Supply Chain program, which is decreasing energy use throughout the manufacturing process. In addition, seven GM manufacturing facilities in China have met the ENERGY STAR® Challenge for Industry by reducing their energy intensity. We are committed to reducing waste and pollutants and recycling materials at our operations. Ten facilities have achieved landfill-free status, meaning all manufacturing waste from their daily operations is reused, recycled or converted into energy. In addition, GM is improving production efficiency through more efficient use of resources and substitute materials.
GM has made safety paramount in our products and in the workplace. Several of our vehicles offered in China have received maximum safety ratings in China, the U.S., Europe, South Korea and Australia due to the extensive application of active and passive safety features. Finally, we continue to ensure that everyone who sets foot on a GM site complies with our global safety rules.
GM is proud of where we have been in China, but we are even more excited about where we are going. As GM continues to go full speed ahead in our largest market, we will maintain our support of our friends and neighbors across China.
A Driving Force: Read the GM 2014 Sustainability Report at gmsustainability.com.