GM to stop making gas-powered cars and trucks—company stock price jumps

  • 01/29/2021 10:27 am ET Sabrina Matthews

Malcolm Gladwell seen representing GM’s “Everybody In” campaign. General Motors

General Motors announced their ambitious goal to produce exclusively electric cars and trucks by 2035. The company also plans to move completely to renewable energy in its facilities in the U.S. by 2030, and in operations worldwide by 2035, with an end goal of being 100% carbon neutral by 2040.

Plans are already underway to switch three U.S. plants to production of electric vehicles. CNBC reports that the Detroit automaker currently projects the release of 30 electric car and truck models worldwide over the next four years.

The announcement follows close on the heels of President Biden’s executive orders prioritizing climate change solutions across the federal government. General Motor’s (GM) timing seems spot on with Biden’s plan to replace the federal fleet of vehicles with electric cars and trucks made in the U.S.

“This is the time for this technology; this is the time for this change,” said GM chief sustainability officer Dane Parker. “We feel like this transition is one that will protect all of our futures and will help us create a future that will benefit not only the planet, but the people.”

Parker is just saying what most of the world is thinking. A majority of both Americans and people worldwide view fighting climate change as a top priority.

Big dreams

Yavno / wikipedia / Public Domain

Changing over to the new technologies required to produce electric cars and trucks present challenges, but large corporations often operate more smoothly with a fixed long term goal than by shifting standards that are only occasionally advantageous.

Not everyone is a believer, though. David Friedman, vice president of advocacy at Consumer Reports, pointed out that GM itself calls the goal of phasing out all internal combustion engine models by 2035 an “aspiration.” The auto manufacturer admits they may not meet it. “Strong aspirations are important and inspirational, but firm production plans and strong policies are what move the market and the climate,” Friedman said.

For the time being, the market has responded well to the “aspirational” announcement. GM shares saw about a 7.4% shares increase on the day of the announcement, according to CNBC.

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