The Slatest

General Motors Says It Will Stop Making Gas-Powered Vehicles by 2035

A blue electric vehicle is parked below the General Motors Orion Assembly plant sign.
The future is finally now. Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

General Motors announced Thursday that it will stop making gas-powered cars and trucks and exclusively produce zero-emissions vehicles by 2035, upending the American automaker’s decadeslong reputation for producing gas-guzzling SUVs. GM’s articulation of an electric future is a seismic shift for the auto industry, particularly the American auto industry, which had lagged behind competitors in the transition to more environmentally-friendly makes and models. GM said the goal of phasing out petroleum-powered cars and trucks over the next decade and a half in favor of electric and possibly hydrogen-powered vehicles is part of its larger ambition of going carbon neutral in its global production by 2040. “General Motors is joining governments and companies around the globe working to establish a safer, greener and better world,” CEO Mary Barra 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.”

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It might seem a bit late to claim insight in declaring an “all-electric future,” but the announcement still amounts to a sea change in the carbon-heavy car industry. Other automakers, like Daimler (the maker of Mercedes-Benz) and Volkswagen, have promised electric versions of each model of their cars in the coming years, but have stopped short of GM’s public commitment to a full green makeover that will likely cost the company billions. “G.M.’s move is sure to roil the auto industry, which, between car and parts makers, employed about one million people in the United States in 2019, more than any other manufacturing sector by far,” the New York Times notes. “It will also have huge ramifications for the oil and gas sector, whose fortunes are closely tied to the internal combustion engine.”

GM, however, didn’t develop climate-friendly foresight on its own. “The pledge is a bold embrace by the automaker of emission-reduction goals set by California,” Bloomberg reports. “The state is one of the largest markets for vehicles in the U.S. and announced plans in September to ban sales of gasoline-powered cars and trucks by 2035.”

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