General Motors commits to a fully Electric Future

GM has become one of the first traditional auto maker to embrace a future devoid of gasoline fumes. The company announced recently that its entire product line would be powered by electric motors by 2035. And five years later, GM’s entire operations would be completely carbon neutral.

This move, though audacious, is not totally unexpected. The Detroit based corporation had earlier confirmed it is investing $27 billion in a new line up of electric vehicles in the next five years. The plan is to bring to market 30 new EV models in that time frame. GM is also pushing for 40% of its models in US market to be fully electric. This would be a massive improvement over its current standing. The only electric model offered by GM, the Chevrolet Bolt, moved about 21,000 units last year. In contrast, the company sold 2.55 million vehicles in the US last year.

Photo by Steve Fecht / General Motors

The company further said its operations, including its production plants, in the US will reach the zero-emission milestone in 2030, while the rest of the world will follow suit by 2035. The company is demonstrating its seriousness by joining 300 other global companies in pledging to achieve a net-zero emission status. It is also restructuring its staff make-up so that half of its development manpower would be dedicated to its electric efforts.

GM has been in partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), an environmental advocacy group, to “develop a shared vision of an all-electric future and an aspiration to eliminate tailpipe emissions from new light-duty vehicles by 2035”.

General Motors Co.

Mary Barra, GM’s CEO, shared on LinkedIn:

“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. That is why it is so important that we accelerate toward a future in which every vehicle we sell is a zero-emissions vehicle.”

Diane Parker, the company’s chief sustainability officer acknowledged the potential hurdles in the transition but reiterated GM’s commitment on Thursday:

“We feel this is going to be the successful business model of the future. 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.” It remains to be seen if this move by GM will spur other car makers into making similar pledges.

Written by D.O. for