Thanks to the initiatives and subsidies from governments across the world, many companies have designed a roadmap for reducing the carbon footprint of their products in the coming decades. The latest on the list is an impactful vehicle manufacturer, General Motors. General Motors, known for brands like Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, and GMC, has announced that it would become carbon-neutral by 2040. It means the vehicle manufacturer would be selling only electric vehicles starting from 2040 or earlier. This announcement from GM is another signal that we are moving to the last years of the Internal Combustion Engine era.
In the announcement made on Thursday, General Motors added that vehicles sold by the brand from 2035 would not have any tailpipe emissions, which is a bold claim to make. However, it is worth noting that the shift to electric vehicles is one of the many steps the manufacturing giant would take to stay carbon neutral from 2040. Considering the vast collection of cars General Motors has in various sectors, this transition to EVs will effectively redesign how on-road transportation looks worldwide, especially in the United States. The action from GM could also be the reference point that many can follow.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, over 28% of greenhouse gas emissions in the US can be traced back to transportation. This figure isn’t surprising considering the increasing number of personal cars in the country. It is also why many governmental and non-governmental organizations are pressuring brands to commit to roadmaps that will effectively reduce climate change. In this case, the GM decision to cut down the use of internal combustion engines would be copied by many other manufacturers across the country and the globe. More importantly, it will work as a worth-citing example for administrators.
For instance, we should consider that the announcement from General Motors comes a few days after the new Biden administration signed a few executive orders to protect the environment. The administration can now cite General Motors’ action as a reference point and use it to launch more profound campaigns, forcing manufacturers to make the necessary shift to electronic vehicles. Similarly, when asked to comment on this announcement, spokespersons from Ford had said that Ford is also working towards offering a broader lineup of electric cars soon.
It is also worth noting that other companies have made similar, if not the same, roadmaps to carbon-neutral products. Daimler, the company behind Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen, the German auto giant, had announced earlier that all their products would have at least one EV variant by 2022 and 2030, respectively. Besides, brands like Tesla have been spearheading the zero-carbon production campaign for more than a few years. The actions from GM will have a more profound impact, though.
It needs to be seen whether the new administration would force other companies to move to the EV era, a move that can popularize electric vehicles and keep the prices under control. If it does, though, the action is likely to impact how the world combats climate change, anyway.