By James Raia
General Motors has advanced its plans and now seeks to become carbon neutral by 2040.
The company has announced a goal to end production of all gas- and diesel-powered cars, trucks and sport utility vehicles by 2035. Five years ahead of its previous goal, GM plans to use 100 percent renewable energy to power its U.S. facilities by 2030 and global facilities by 2035.
GM’s lightweight trucks include the Chevrolet Silverado and Colorado and GMC Sierra and Canyon.
GM’s new goals were announced one day after President Joe Biden signed a series of executive orders aimed at combating climate change. The plans will prioritize climate change across all levels of government and put the U.S. on track to curb planet-warming carbon emissions.
General Motors: “Triple Zero Vision”
Although a target date wasn’t specified, GM has promoted its “triple zero vision” plan for several years. Zero-emission via electric vehicle technology, zero congestion and zero crashes via advanced safety technology and self-driving vehicles comprise the three-goal initiative.
“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 percent of sales.
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 automotive industry’s future.
“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 on 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.
James Raia, a syndicated columnist in Sacramento, California, publishes a free weekly automotive podcast and electronic newsletter. Sign-ups are available on his website, www.theweeklydriver.com. He can be reached via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.