General Motors has outlined a plan to stop selling emissions-producing vehicles by as early as 2035. While this eco-friendly goal is admirable, GM wants customers to know that it’s just that, a goal, and not necessarily a guarantee.
Speaking to Automotive News last week, GM North America president Steve Carlisle explained that GM will still produce internal combustion engine vehicles as long as demand justifies it. While GM still believes the future is all-electric, it realizes that the EV adoption rate will be impacted by a multitude of different factors, including battery advancement and charging infrastructure.
“We intend to win wherever we’re competing and irrespective of propulsion system,” GM North America chief Steve Carlisle told AN. “At the same time, we’re setting ourselves up for this pivot, which is inevitable.”
Investing heavily into an electric vehicle portfolio and keeping popular internal combustion engine products around will allow GM to keep its current customer base whilst growing into new EV segments, Carlisle explained. Promoting EV tech will also convince its competitors to produce their own EVs, the automaker hopes, in turn creating more demand for charging infrastructure and increasing demand for EVs in general.
“We’re going to do everything we can possibly do to make that future come true,” Carlisle said. “There’s a bit of leading the horse to water.”
Certain states have already begun to implement their own bans on the sale and registration of new internal combustion engine vehicles. California and Massachusetts will outlaw new internal combustion engine vehicle sales by 2035, while Washington State plans to one-up them with its own 2030 ban.
GM, which currently only offers one electric model in the way of the Chevy Bolt EV, will have 30 EVs on sale globally by 2025. More than two thirds of these EV models will be available in North America and will span the automaker’s Cadillac, GMC, Chevrolet and Buick brands. It also promises to offer EVs “at all price points for work, adventure, performance and family use,” in this timeframe.
“Climate change is real, and we want to be part of the solution by putting everyone in an electric vehicle,” GM CEO Mary Barra said in a prepared statement released earlier this year. “We are transitioning to an all-electric portfolio from a position of strength and we’re focused on growth. We can accelerate our EV plans because we are rapidly building a competitive advantage in batteries, software, vehicle integration, manufacturing and customer experience.”