General Motors Aspires to Be Carbon-Neutral by 2040

(Photo by Steve Fecht via General Motors)

General Motors wants to eliminate tailpipe emissions from new passenger cars by 2035 and shift to electric vehicles as part of a plan to become carbon neutral by 2040.

The automaker, whose brands include Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac, also signed the Business Ambition for 1.5℃ pledge, which aims to limit global temperature rise and combat climate change.

“General Motors is joining governments and companies around the globe working to establish a safer, greener, and better world,” CEO Mary Barra (pictured) 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.”

After supporting the Trump administration’s effort to bar California from setting its own emissions rules, GM changed its tune in November after Joe Biden was elected, announcing its withdrawal from preemption litigation. President Biden this week signed an executive order to replace federal government fleets with clean, electric vehicles.

General Motors worked with the Environmental Defense Fund to develop “a shared vision of an all-electric future” and “an aspiration” to eliminate tailpipe emissions from new light-duty vehicles within 14 years. GM will offer 30 all-electric models globally by mid-decade, and 40 percent of its US models will be BEVs by the end of 2025.

That’s not to say the company will quit selling internal combustion engine vehicles after 2035. In fact, it plans to “continue to increase fuel efficiency” of traditional vehicles “in accordance with regional fuel economy and greenhouse gas regulations.” That includes fuel economy improvement technologies like aerodynamic efficiency enhancements, downsized boosted engines, and more efficient transmissions, as well as mass reduction and lower rolling resistance tires.

On top of meeting its EV objectives, GM said it will source 100 percent renewable power to US sites by 2030 and globally by 2035—five years earlier than the company’s previous global goal.