Inside Factory Zero, where GM bets heavily on electric vehicles

In the assembly line at the General Motors plant outside Detroit, Michigan ! ! !


There are two things motorists like Mark Owens will never see again: Electric tanks and internal fire engines.

"It's completely different. I never thought I'd see an electric car all over when we didn't have electric tanks in it," Owens told Ben TraCY.

The GM plant makes the Chevy Bolt, which is the only market for a completely electric car company, but that is about to change.

Mark Reuss, president of GM, said electric cars would no longer be something new for the wealthy. GM is now heavily betting on batteries and plans to introduce 30 new electric vehicles at all price points over the next five years.

"It's the biggest thing the industry has seen in the long, long term," he said.

The automotive company is rebuilding its 4.5-million-square-foot plant in Michigan and calling it Factory Zero, as a zero emissions. The name of the outer street was changed to Electric Avenue.

CBS News looked inside Factor Zero, which industry manager Jim Quick said was the firm of the future.

"This body shop, once completed, will be the largest store for General Motors," said H Quick.

Factory Zero will soon produce the once-gas-powered version of the Hummer gas and this summer GM will launch the larger Bolt version called the EUV.

In the United States, transportation accounts for about one third of the greenhouse gas emissions caused by global warming.

Part of President Biden's infrastructure bill will help people buy green, more expensive electric cars. GM says it intends to stop making petrol cars by 2035. In a statement, GM said it wished to end the pollution of the pipeline.

"There's a small roaming room there. The desire to do that will actually be based on the consumer and how we solve some of the problems people see around electric cars," Reuss said.

Reuss wants to combat the notion that electric cars are more expensive than conventional cars. Batteries, which make up about 70% of the cost of an electric car, are now cheaper.

GM builds and tests them in-house to further the cost. Automakers also rely on the provincial government.

President Biden's infrastructure plan requires 500,000 new EV charging stations nationwide by 2030. Alissa Priddle, editor of MotorTrend, said that soon car manufacturers will offer consumers more EV options.

“The reason people don’t buy an EV right now is that they don’t want a funny little pod that doesn’t do what they need for their lives or for their families,” he said.

According to the IHS Markit, a market analytical team, of the 250 million vehicles on American roads, less than 1% are electric.

IHS Markit found that last year the EV accounted for only 2 percent of all U.S. car sales. Almost all of those sold by Tesla, now with more value than GM, Ford, and Toyota combined.

The tailpipe is an endangered species because states such as California and Massachusetts as well as countries including Japan, the U.K., and the European Union as a whole will soon block the sale of gas-powered vehicles to combat climate change.

Ford recently announced that it will be able to operate electricity throughout Europe by 2030. It is already selling a battery-powered Mustang in the United States and next year will install electricity in the country's best-selling car - a Ford F-150 truck.

"You can't afford to pay, as a car maker, not to have all the details of the electric cars in the next five years, or you'll be left behind," Priddle said.

Electric cars make up more than half of all new cars sold in Norway. In recent advertisements, GM tells Americans that there is no way Norway should be the king of the EV road.

As more car manufacturers switch to electric cars, Reuss said he expects other companies to not survive this change.

"That desire to win is very deep, so I would say that anyone who makes electric cars now or in the future is a big reason for us to win," he said.