And China’s decision late last year to require most of the cars sold here to be electric by 2035 is also critical as GM sells more cars in that country through joint ventures than with in America. The UK, Ireland and the Netherlands have said they will ban the sale of new gasoline and diesel cars starting from 2030.
GM has been talking about switching to zero-emission vehicles for about two years. Last March, they unveiled modular battery technology that they think will lower costs. A few months later, GM said it could get electric cars that are no more expensive than gasoline cars faster than previously expected.
Ms. Barra has received support and input from an unexpected source – the Environmental Defense Fund, which has criticized GM in the past. The CEO shared a barbecue dinner with the group’s chairman, Fred Krupp, at a conference in 2015, and by the fall of last year they were still in regular contact by phone and email.
“We are both optimistic that a common ground can be achieved,” Krupp said.
In October, GM unveiled a Hummer electric pickup, and within a day it gathered enough orders to count all the trucks GM plans to make in its first year. truck.
“It’s another inflection point,” said Parker, director of sustainability. “It shows that consumers are really excited about electric vehicle ownership.”
Just a few weeks later, Mr. Biden became president-elect. And in December, GM met with its transition team, Mr. Parker said. “Our vision for a zero emissions future fits very well with their vision and goals.”
At the same time, GM signed a pledge, known as the 1.5 Degree Business Ambition, to combat global warming. Mr. Parker said in early January the company had taken the 2035 date as a likely date for the electrical transition. On January 12, Ms. Barra appeared at the Consumer Electronics Show and detailed GM’s vision for a future without exhaust emissions, but gave no specific date.