General Motors is "eliminating tailpipe emissions by 2035."
For years, General Motors (GM) has been saying it's committed to an all-electric future but has shied away from creating hard target dates. GM's CEO Mary Barra has said America's largest automaker "is on a path to an all-electric future," over and over again, but has now finally committed to a target year to go emissions-free. GM is still hedging its language, though, and says it "aspires to eliminate tailpipe emissions from new light-duty vehicles by 2035." Further to that, the automaker uses stronger language in announcing that "GM plans to be carbon neutral by 2040 in its global products and operations."
This is a significant announcement but falls in line with what a lot of the industry is pledging. The language of GM's press release is what interests us most here. "General Motors is committed to reaching carbon neutrality in its global products and operations by 2040, supported by a commitment to science-based targets," GM says. That's a strong statement given the rise of science denial and its politicization. GM has also joined Volkswagen, Ford, and several other automakers joining the Business Ambition Pledge for 1.5°C emissions plan. Holding to the 1.5-degree Celsius global rise in temperature is how experts believe we can limit climate change damage.
Joining the Business Ambition Pledge now is a reversal after GM backed the Trump administration's plan to strip California of its ability to set emissions standards more stringent than federal levels. However, GM had previously laid out plans to bring 20 battery-electric vehicles to market by 2023 then expanded that to 30 battery-electric vehicles but 2025. That includes headline grabbers such as the GMC Hummer pickup due later this year. However, zero emissions by 2035 means core vehicles and fan favorites from GM will be stripped of their piston power, including theChevrolet Camaro and Corvette sports cars. GM's wording does leave a slight grey area, though, as the reference to 'light-duty vehicles' could exclude trucks like the Chevrolet Silverado.