There is still a while until 2035, and initially it is only a letter of intent, but the news is still remarkable and suggests that the switch to more climate-friendly transport with electric cars, initiated by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, will be unstoppable: at the latest in The US auto company announced on Thursday that all new “Lights Duty Vehicles” from General Motors (GM) should be completely emission-free for 15 years. This makes it the first established automaker to commit to this goal, and it should only be achievable with electric cars.
A better world with an electric car course
Under the new boss Mary Barra, who took the lead five years after the bankruptcy in the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, GM had already embarked on a recognizable Tesla course. Last March, the CEO not only announced billions in investments for nine new electric cars by 2025, but also the development of its own battery platform called Ultium together with the cell manufacturer LG Chem (now renamed LG Energy Solutions). In November 2020 GM was already talking about 30 electric cars by 2025, and at the beginning of this year a marketing offensive followed with a new logo and its own unit for electric delivery traffic.
And apparently that was just a start. In general, the largest automaker in the United States announced on Thursday that its products and business activities would be carbon dioxide-neutral by 2040. With this, GM wants to contribute to making the world safer, greener and better, CEO Barra is quoted in a press release. And because 75 percent of current GM emissions are caused by its products (i.e. cars), new light vehicles should do without them from 2035.
The fact that GM is pursuing this “ambition” with electric cars is not explicitly mentioned, but in view of the new positioning and further statements it is obvious, at least for the passenger car sector. According to the new announcement, GM also wants to build the necessary charging infrastructure and repeat the specification of 30 purely battery-electric models by 2025. 40 percent of all vehicles offered in the USA should be electric cars by the end of the target year, it says . However, in connection with the overall target for 2040, there is also talk of “other technology for emission-free vehicles”, with which GM may keep a hydrogen backdoor open.
Audi should also plan to phase out combustion engines
Cars with internal combustion engines, however, will no longer be an option after the announcement from 2035, which makes GM the first established automaker in the world to publicly announce an end date for them. At the same time, governments around the world are considering banning the sale of fossil-fuel cars from different dates. And according to reports, the German VW subsidiary Audi is already working on specific plans for the exit from combustion engine production in ten to fifteen years. It looks like Tesla CEO Musk is gradually getting what he’s been tirelessly advocating for almost 20 years.