General Motors to stop making diesel and gas vehicles by 2035

‘It is so important that we accelerate toward a future in which every vehicle we sell is a zero-emissions vehicle,’ says CEO Mary Barra

James Crump
Thursday 28 January 2021 19:06 GMT

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General Motors (GM) has announced that it plans to end production of all diesel and gasoline powered cars, trucks and SUVs by 2035.

The company also aims to shift its entire fleet to electric vehicles by that date, as part of a plan to be carbon neutral by 2040.

To achieve that goal, GM is aiming to use 100 per cent renewable energy to power its US facilities by 2030 and its global areas by 2035. The worldwide target is five years earlier than a previously announced target.

GM’s announcement was made just one day after President Joe Biden signed multiple executive orders that put an emphasis on tackling climate change.

Speaking about the announcement on LinkedIn, the organisation’s CEO Mary Barra said that it is “important” that GM accelerates its target for becoming carbon neutral.

“For General Motors, our most significant carbon impact comes from tailpipe emissions of the vehicles that we sell — in our case, it’s 75 per cent,” Ms Barra said in a statement.

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

In a separate statement, Ms Barra acknowledged that GM is part of a growing list of companies and countries adopting deadlines to become carbon neutral.

“We encourage others to follow suit and make a significant impact on our industry and on the economy as a whole,” the CEO wrote.

GM aims to release around 30 electric vehicles by 2025, as part of a $27bn (£19.96bn) investment in electric and autonomous vehicles over the next few years.

Dane Parker, GM chief sustainability officer, echoed Ms Barra’s comments and revealed that he is “excited” about the company’s transition to producing electric vehicles.

“We feel like this transition is one that will protect all of our futures and will help us create a future that will benefit not only the planet, but the people,” Mr Parker said.

Fred Krupp, the president of the Environmental Defence Fund, praised the decision.

Mr Krupp, who revealed that the organisation helped GM develop the plan, wrote: “When a leading US carmaker takes such a step, it sends a powerful signal to the industry that being on the road to zero emissions is an essential element of every automaker’s business plan.

He added: “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.”

In September 2020, California governor Gavin Newsom announced that the state will phase out gasoline-powered cars by 2035, in order to reduce its carbon emissions.

“This is the most impactful step our state can take to fight climate change,” Mr Newsom said during a press conference to accompany his executive order that will require all new cars and trucks sold in California to be zero-emission vehicles by the 2035 deadline at the latest.

He added: “For too many decades, we have allowed cars to pollute the air that our children and families breathe. You deserve to have a car that doesn’t give your kids asthma.”

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