February 25, 2021
General Motors Co. (“GM”), the largest U.S. automaker, has announced its plans to become carbon neutral by 2040, and to sell only zero-emission vehicles by 2035. GM has also signed the Business Ambition Pledge for 1.5⁰C, a call to action from a global coalition of UN agencies, businesses and industry leaders. The plan is a bold embrace by GM of the emission-reduction targets set by California, one of the largest markets for vehicles in the U.S. In September, California announced its plan to ban the sale of all gasoline-powered cars and trucks by 2035.
GM’s initiative is part of CEO Mary Barra’s strategy to take on Tesla’s electric vehicle market share and shift GM’s image away from that of “gas-guzzling, carbon-spewing trucks and SUVs.” Beyond simply making a bold statement, GM has outlined tangible targets in achieving its goal. By mid-decade, GM will offer 30 all-electric models globally and 40% of GM’s U.S. models will be battery electric by the end of 2025. To accomplish this feat, GM will be investing $27 billion in electric and autonomous vehicles in the next five years alone.
Mary Barra further encouraged other automakers to “follow suit and make a significant impact on our industry and on the economy as a whole.” Whether other automakers will join GM in this pledge remains to be seen.
Author: Shadi Varkiani