US-based Automajor General Motors Co has set itself the goal of stopping sales of gasoline, diesel-powered cars, and SUV by 2035.
It aims to sell only EV cars and SUVs by 2035.
And it wants to be carbon neutral by 2040.
This is in line with the new US President Mr. Joe Biden pledging to tackle greenhouse gas emissions.
In 2020, GM sold 2.55 million vehicles in the US, of which EVs contributed 20000 nos. Still, GM said, in November 2020, it is planning to invest $27 billion in electric and autonomous vehicles, this has revised upwards from $20 billion planned before the coronavirus pandemic affected the US.
Chief Executive Mary Barra has been very aggressive in embracing the EV platform and move away from gasoline-powered vehicles.
She said in a statement the automaker had worked with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), an environmental advocacy group, to "develop a shared vision of an all-electric future and an aspiration to eliminate tailpipe emissions from new light-duty vehicles by 2035."
Morgan Stanley auto analyst Adam Jonas said the decision is "based principally on economic grounds... Would GM decide to wind down a business in under 15 years if it truly felt it would spin off cash and provide positive economic value?"
Jonas added that investors should look for most if not all automakers "to follow GM’s precedent."
In September 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom had said that the state plans to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered passenger cars and trucks starting in 2035. Many other states, including Massachusetts, are planning to do the same.
Newsom welcomed GM's announcement calling it a “gamechanger".
And the California Air Resources Board said "if GM is serious about cleaning up the air our children breathe today, it must also drop its defense of the Trump administration's rollbacks of federal vehicle emissions standards."
Readers would remember that GM and other major automakers had sided with Trump, in 2020, in a legal challenge to his rollback of federal vehicle emissions standards through 2026. However, in November 2020, GM withdrew its support.
Last week, US president Joe Biden had directed the US agencies to reconsider the Trump emissions rollback as also the revocation of California's emissions authority.
GM is "open to working with California and the Biden Administration to achieve agreement on a national standard and complementary policies to accelerate the electrification of the light-duty transportation sector," the company said in a separate statement.
In announcing the change in its earlier stand, GM reaffirmed a commitment to producing zero-emission vehicles.
"We're taking actions so that we can eliminate tailpipe emissions by 2035," Dane Parker, GM's chief sustainability officer, said at the media briefing. "Setting a goal for us 15 years from now is absolutely reachable."
EDF President Fred Krupp said in a statement: "with this extraordinary step forward, GM is making it crystal clear that taking action to eliminate pollution from all new light-duty vehicles by 2035 is an essential element of any automaker’s business plan."
GM also said it will also source 100% renewable energy to power its US sites by 2030; and its global sites by 2035, five years ahead of its prior timeline.
David Friedman, a vice president at Consumer Reports and a former Obama administration auto regulator, said "strong aspirations are important and inspirational, but firm production plans and strong policies are what moves the market and the climate."
GM will be devoting more than half of its capital spending and product development team for its electric and electric-autonomous vehicle programs.
US President Joe Biden’s new administration has shifted its focus towards clean energy and vowed to replace the US government's fleet of roughly 650,000 vehicles with electric models.