GM said today that it planned to be carbon neutral by 2040 and that it also planned for all of its light-duty vehicles to be all-electric by 2035. GM’s big electric push is only picking up speed.
“General Motors is joining governments and companies around the globe working to establish a safer, greener and better world,” said Mary Barra, GM Chairman and CEO. “We encourage others to follow suit and make a significant impact on our industry and on the economy as a whole.”
In addition to GM’s carbon goals, the company 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 by 2035. GM’s focus will be offering zero-emissions vehicles across a range of price points and working with all stakeholders, including EDF, to build out the necessary charging infrastructure and promote consumer acceptance while maintaining high quality jobs, which will all be needed to meet these ambitious goals.
The use of GM’s products accounts for 75 percent of carbon emissions related to this commitment. GM will offer 30 all-electric models globally by mid-decade and 40 percent of the company’s U.S. models offered will be battery electric vehicles by the end of 2025. GM is investing $27 billion in electric and autonomous vehicles in the next five years – up from the $20 billion planned before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This has all been pretty head-spinning, as GM was very much friends with the Trump administration and its (attempted) slackened emissions rules until GM very much was not. GM also could’ve just thrown up a token EV effort like it did for years with the Bolt and Volt but it deserves some amount of credit for, this time, saying that it is all-in.
I do wonder how much GM will hedge as the deadline gets closer and buy carbon credits and continue to sell internal combustion engine cars and call that good enough. I also wonder how much of this is aimed at boosting GM’s stock, since it has had some success recently cosplaying Tesla. I also wonder how much of this is in anticipation of the Biden administration making GM do it anyway. But we’ll have to wait for all of that; for now, I will take this at face value and say, well done, GM, it’s never too late to do the right thing.