General Motors has a heavy foot — at least in terms of carbon neutrality.
The world’s seventh-largest automotive manufacturer has announced an expedited goal — to end production of all gas and diesel-powered cars, trucks and sport utility vehicles by 2035.
GM plans to use 100 percent renewable energy to power its U.S. facilities by 2030 and global facilities by 2035. It’s five years sooner than the manufacturer has previously announced.
The automaker’s new plans were announced one day after President Joe Biden signed a series of executive orders. The plans will prioritize climate change across all levels of government and put the U.S. on track to curb planet-warming carbon emissions.
Although a target date was specified, GM has promoted its “triple zero vision” plan for several years. Zero-emission via electric vehicle technology, zero congestion and zero crashes advance safety technology and self-driving vehicles comprise the three-goal initiative.
General Motors: Zero Emissions The Goal
“For General Motors, our most significant carbon impact comes from tailpipe emissions of the vehicles that we sell — in our case, it’s 75 percent,” GM CEO Mary Barra said on LinkedIn. “That is why it is so important that we accelerate toward a future in which every vehicle we sell is a zero-emissions vehicle.”
Electric vehicles, including battery-electric and fuel cell-powered vehicles, are currently a niche segment of the global automotive industry, estimated at less than 5% of sales by analysts.
EVs are more costly to produce than internal combustion engines due to the battery and fuel cells. But automotive executives and analysts believe EVs are the future for the automotive industry.
“We feel this is going to be the successful business model of the future,” said Dane Parker, GM chief sustainability officer. “We know there are hurdles, we know there are technology challenges, but we’re confident that with the resources we have and the expertise we have that we’ll overcome those challenges and this will be a business model that we will be able to thrive in the future.”
GM plans to release 30 new EVs globally by 2025 under a $27 billion investment in electric and autonomous vehicles during that time frame. It also previously announced expectations for a majority, if not all, of its luxury Cadillac cars and SUVs sold globally to be EVs by 2030.