General Motors revealed plans to phase out vehicles using internal combustion engines by 2035, ushering in "an all-electric future," Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra announced Thursday. The auto company also vowed to be completely carbon neutral at its facilities worldwide by 2040. While GM has previously vowed to go green with the launch of new electric vehicles, this hard deadline to phase out gas and diesel engines is a first for the automaker, reports NBC News.
A day prior, GM announced it was providing fuel-cell technology for Navistar International Corp and was investigating other uses for the hydrogen technology being developed alongside Honda as part of a clean technology push. "General Motors is joining governments and companies around the globe working to establish a safer, greener and better world," Barra said in a statement. "We encourage others to follow suit and make a significant impact on our industry and on the economy as a whole."
Many auto industry brands are announcing similar focuses on battery and hydrogen power, with Bentley recently targeting 2030 as its deadline to switch to entirely battery-electric vehicles (BEVs). This week, Nissan also announced it had plans to switch over to entirely gas-electric hybrids and BEVs by the "early 2030s."
"We feel this will be the successful business model of the future," GM's environmental chief Dane Parker said at a virtual conference on Thursday attended by NBC News. "We feel we will be able to overcome obstacles (and) be able to thrive in the future." The new policy comes on the heels of President Joe Biden's announcement that he would replace the 650,000 vehicles in the federal fleet with all-electric models as part of a concentration on green technology. GM even referenced the initiative Thursday, as Parker said the company is "excited about the things the new Biden administration is doing."
"The federal government also owns an enormous fleet of vehicles, which we're going to replace with clean, electric vehicles made right here in America, by American workers," Biden said Monday as he signed his "Made in America" executive order. He added that this initiative would create a million autoworker jobs.
According to the General Services Administration's 2019 data, included in the fleet were about 245,000 passenger cars, 173,000 military vehicles, and 225,000 postal trucks, all of which could be significant gains for companies willing and able to roll out products that meet within the confines.