- gm ceo mary barra announced a bold plan to phase out gas- and diesel-powered vehicles by 2035.
- the plan is part of a larger strategy to make the company carbon neutral by 2040.
- gm’s plan aligns the automaker with regulations being put in place by states like california.
update 1/28/2021, 7:00 p.m. et: the united auto workers union issued a statement in the wake of the gm announcement on evs, emphasizing that its members "have never shied away from working with new technology." the union said it has already been "working closely" with the biden administration, starting with its transition team, on policies around developing electric vehicles. "the important thing is that president biden agrees with our position that any new jobs replacing combustible engines are union wage and benefit jobs that are created right here in the u.s.," the uaw's statement said. "and we believe the detroit 3 will locate these new products right here in the u.s."
it’s one thing for the state of california to announce that it will no longer allow the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035. it’s quite another when an automaker announces essentially the same thing. today, general motors ceo mary barra unveiled the automaker’s proposal to make gm a net-zero-carbon company. that means phasing out of light-duty vehicles that run on gasoline and diesel by 2035.
gm already accelerated its electric-vehicle plans back in november and now intends to build 30 new evs by 2025. now barra has announced an even bolder clean vehicle plan that eliminates gas cars from the company and that might take consumers and the industry a while to fully comprehend.
the plan is to stop the production of gas-powered light-duty vehicles by 2035 and transition completely to electric vehicles to eliminate tailpipe emissions. it’ll be a transition that will take 14 years and, as time progresses, many of your favorite gm vehicles will switch from gasoline to electricity—yes, even the corvette (or whatever gm decides to call it in the future).
gm's factories are also going green. barra announced that all u.s. factories will use renewable energy by 2030 and global factories will switch over by 2035. suppliers will also be pulled into the plan as gm plans to set ambitious targets to reduce emissions and source more sustainable materials. to achieve this metric, it will establish a sustainability council that will learn and share best practices with others in the industry.
this announcement expands upon barra's earlier statements at the 2021 ces technology conference to transition gm to a net-zero-carbon future. the company says it will be working towards being completely carbon neutral by 2040. barra stated that it means, “removing emissions from all our products, including every vehicle we produce, and all of our global operations in the next twenty years.” to make that a reality, the company will use a combination of technologies that remove emissions from its business and carbon credits or carbon offsets.
gm is also working to meet the goals of the paris agreement by signing the business ambition for 1.5 celsius commitment. the goal of the businesses that have signed the commitment is to limit global warming to below 2 degrees celsius by changing their practices. according to the committee’s website, over 1000 companies have already joined the initiative.
then of course in today’s announcement barra stated, “with these actions, general motors is joining governments and companies around the globe working to establish a safer, greener and better world. we believe that with our scale and reach we can encourage others to follow suit and make a significant impact on our industry and on the economy as a whole.”
as countries and states begin to legislate the future sales of new gas-powered vehicles and the biden administration has announced the transition of the government fleet to all evs, gm is putting a stake in the ground. this plan shows that gm wants to be part of that future, not only giving the company clout in the eyes of government officials but also giving the entire company a goal to focus on. for gm, the future is electric.