General Motors has seen the way the wind turbines are moving, announcing all its light-duty vehicles will be zero-emissions by 2035 and the company as a whole will be carbon neutral by 2040.

    That means the American automaker is committing to an entirely electric line-up of cars, SUVs and pickup trucks by 2035, eliminating petrol and diesel engines, though it’s also said it’ll look at “other zero-emissions vehicle technology”.

    In addition, the company has signed the United Nations’ Business Ambition Pledge for 1.5⁰C

    The company said it’s working with the Environmental Defence 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”.

    It’ll work with stakeholders like the EDF to build acceptance for its expanding range of electric vehicles while also maintaining “high quality jobs” for workers.

    In 2035, California – the United States’ largest car market – will ban the sale of new internal combustion engine-powered vehicles, while the new Biden Administration has committed to replacing the entire US Federal fleet, around 640,000 vehicles in total, with American-made electric vehicles.

    Overseas markets have also announced upcoming bans on ICE-powered vehicles.

    To meet its carbon neutrality target, GM will source 100 per cent renewable energy for all U.S. sites by 2030 and all global sites by 2035, pulling forward a previously announced global goal by five years.

    It’s working with EVgo to triple the size of its US network of fast chargers, with plans to add 2700 new fast chargers by the end of 2025. These will all be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy.

    Though GM currently sells just one all-electric vehicle in its home market of the US, the Chevrolet Bolt, its EV range is about to expand dramatically as it rolls out “an EV for everybody”.

    This year, the company will launch the GMC Hummer EV. It’ll be followed early next year by the Cadillac Lyriq, which has had its launch date pulled forward.

    GM also recently announced it was increasing its EV and autonomous spending, with US$27 billion (A$37.1 billion) earmarked through 2025, or more than half its overall capital spending.

    The company had previously budgeted US$20 billion (A$27.4 billion) before the pandemic.

    GM will offer 30 electric vehicles globally by 2025, with 40 per cent of its US line-up to be all-electric by the same time.

    EVs arriving as part of the 30 by 2025 target include the flagship Cadillac Celestiq and four Cadillac SUVs, including the Lyriq.

    Chevrolet will add an SUV and a pickup truck while the Buick range will be bolstered by two new crossovers.

    Chinese buyers currently have access to a wider range of EVs than North American consumers, with GM offering the Chevrolet Menlo and Buick Velite 6 and Velite 7 there.

    “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.”

    While internal combustion engines may be on the way out at GM, the company will continue to invest in improving their efficiency including the continued rollout of stop/start systems, aerodynamic enhancements, downsized and turbocharged engines, weight savings, and more efficient transmissions.

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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