The electric car has won.
A silver lining can be seen over the clouds cast over Americans today because as it stands, this country’s largest automaker has just announced a major change of direction in how it does business—one that promises to lessen the amount of smog blocking that silver from shining through. In a statement released to press, General Motors announced that the company would steer itself towards an all-electric future, one where the company builds vehicles that emit zero pollutants from the tailpipe.
There has been no deadline given to allow us an idea of when the last internal combustion engine will roll off of GM assembly lines, but the auto giant will start by introducing two new all-electric vehicles based off the Chevy Bolt’s tech in the next 18 months before debuting another 18 EVs by 2023. As of June 2017, GM was the world’s fourth largest automaker, meaning the implications of its paradigm shift will reach far and wide. “GM believes in an all-electric future,” said Mark Reuss, GM executive VP of Product Development. “Although that future won't happen overnight, GM is committed to driving increased usage and acceptance of electric vehicles through no-compromise solutions that meet our customers' needs.”
While other large automakers like Volkswagen have already pledged to work towards an electric future, others, most notably Toyota, have stalled on the electrification front and instead focused efforts on hydrogen fuel cell technology. Where GM differs in its pursuit of sustainable transportation is that it will use a two-pronged approach and concentrate its efforts on both battery electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell technology. GM’s most recent notable foray into the world of hydrogen fuel cell technology is the experimental hydrogen Chevrolet Colorado it’s developing in conjunction with the US Military in order to expand the technology and explore its usefulness in combat situations.
In order to one day apply that technology to street-legal passenger vehicles, GM also introduced SURUS, short for Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure. The fuel cell-powered concept vehicle is constructed on a heavy-duty truck frame, uses two electric motors, and features four-wheel steering. The flexible architecture can be expanded and used to build delivery vehicles, trucks, or even ambulances. With one more influential multibillion dollar automaker on board with the shift for electrification, that sustainable future everyone keeps talking about seems to be one step closer to becoming reality.