General Motors announced that it will completely phase out vehicles that use gasoline or diesel fuel by 2035. By that time, GM hopes to have an all-electric fleet of vehicles and will also work to become carbon-neutral by 2040.
GM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra made the announcement Thursday, about a week after President Joe Biden pledged to tackle greenhouse gas emissions and dramatically boost the sales of electric vehicles. GM also signed the Business Ambition for 1.5°C, which calls on business and industry leaders to to commit to set ambitious science-based emissions reduction targets.
“General Motors is joining governments and companies around the globe working to establish a safer, greener and better world,” Barra said in a GM press release. “We encourage others to follow suit and make a significant impact on our industry and on the economy as a whole.”
To achieve its goal of all-electric vehicles by 2035, GM said it worked with the Environmental Defense Fund to develop a shared vision of an all-electric future and an aspiration to eliminate tailpipe emissions from new light-duty vehicles like cars, pick-up trucks and SUVs. In addition, GM plans to roll out new, clean technology for its heavy-duty trucks.
Environmental Defense Fund President Fred Krupp said that while GM and the EDF have had some differences in the past, “this is a new day in America — one where serious collaboration to achieve transportation electrification, science-based climate progress and equitably shared economic opportunity can move our nation forward.”
The company also says that it will focus on offering zero-emissions vehicles across a range of price points and working with all stakeholders.
GM made a mark as one of the first automobile companies to enter the electric vehicle (EV) market. The company plans to improve EV economics with a new joint venture with South Korea’s LG Chem; the two plan to launch new Ultium batteries for vehicles, which would help EV economics in saving both energy and money.
While GM remained one of the first to come out with electric vehicles, it did not seem to always be on the right side of the fight.
The company previously sided with the Trump Administration in an attempt to stop California from regulating the state from setting its own emissions and clean-air standards; this came around the same time that Governor Gavin Newsom revealed California’s plan to phase out gasoline-powered cars and trucks starting in 2035.
The original claim said that California’s framework agreement for clean cars was inconsistent with federal law. Other automakers joined GM in the lawsuit, including Fiat Chrysler, Toyota, Nissan, Aston-Martin, Ferrari and more.
However, Barra announced that GM would pull out of the lawsuit last November, agreeing with then-President-Elect Joe Biden’s expansion plan for electric vehicles, and urged the other companies to do the same.