General Motors, the largest automaker in the United States outlined its plans to become carbon neutral by 2040, marking a huge shift in the industry. GM’s chief executive, Mary Barra, recently said the company’s long term strategy is to build electric only cars in order to help lower emissions and to transition to become part of the green economy.
General Motors said recently that it was setting a goal to sell all its new cars, SUVs and light pick-up trucks with zero tailpipe emissions by 2035, a dramatic shift by the largest United States automaker away from gasoline and diesel engines.
GM, which also said it plans to become carbon neutral by 2040, made its announcement just over a week after US President Joe Biden took office pledging to tackle greenhouse gas emissions and dramatically boost the sales of electric vehicles (EVs).
GM had both the Chevrolet Volt and the Chevy Volt electric vehicle on sale and has sold 2.55 million vehicles in the US last year, only 20,000 of which were EVs. GM will invest up to $27bn in electric and autonomous vehicles over the next five years, up from $20bn planned before the coronavirus pandemic. Barra has aggressively pushed the automaker internally to embrace electric vehicles and shift away from gasoline-powered ones. “We’re taking actions so that we can eliminate tailpipe emissions by 2035,” said Dane Parker, GM’s chief sustainability officer, “Setting a goal for us 15 years from now is absolutely reachable.”
GM is working with the non-profit Environmental Defense Fund to ‘develop a shared vision of an all-electric future’ for its vehicles. In September, California Governor Gavin Newsom said the state plans to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered passenger cars and trucks starting in 2035. Several states including Massachusetts say they plan to follow suit.
GM also said it will source 100 percent renewable energy to power its US sites by 2030 and global sites by 2035, five years ahead of a prior goal. More than half of GM’s capital spending and product development team will be devoted to electric and electric-autonomous vehicle programmes, GM said.