General Motors to End Production of Gas-Powered Vehicles by 2035; Commits to Becoming Carbon Neutral by 2040

The company’s announcement follows Joe Biden’s new climate crisis agenda which includes directing auto manufacturers to speed up vehicle electrification

General Motors has announced its decision to manufacture only carbon emission-free vehicles starting in 2035. It has also pulled back its carbon neutral target for all products and operations by a decade, announcing an overall vision to combat the climate crisis with “science-backed targets”. Its larger decarbonization agenda includes wide-scale electrification, developing battery charging infrastructure, and investing in renewable energy.

An Aral AG charging station. Credit: Aral AG website

In areas of operation where it will not be possible for the auto manufacturer to cut down on emissions, it has announced that those targets will be met by utilizing carbon credits. GM CEO, Mary Barra, stated: “For General Motors, our most significant carbon impact comes from tailpipe emissions of the vehicles that we sell — in our case, it’s 75%. That is why it is so important that we accelerate toward a future in which every vehicle we sell is a zero-emissions vehicle.”

General Motors’ public announcement comes in the wake of President Joe Biden’s expansive climate crisis agenda. Given that Democrats control Congress, the administration has been actively working with climate activists and industries to give direction to the President’s climate crisis policy. One of Biden’s goals is speeding up the electrification of vehicles and developing electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

General Motors has also been collaborating with the Environmental Defense Fund to realize a shared vision of an all-electric transportation future. In line with this agenda, General Motors plans to spend $27 billion to achieve its goal of offering 30 all-electric models to the world by the middle of this decade. In addition to this, the company has also committed to ensuring 40% of all American models will be converted to battery-electric operation by the end of 2025. This will account for 75% of carbon emissions that the company has vowed to reduce dramatically over the next few years. Environmental Defense Fund President, Fred Krupp, said: “With this extraordinary step forward, GM is making it crystal clear that taking action to eliminate pollution from all new light-duty vehicles by 2035 is an essential element of any automaker’s business plan.”