GM is adapting its climate goals to the course of the US government. The US automaker follows the 180-degree change of heart following the election of Joe Biden.
The largest car company in the USA, General Motors (GM) wants to become climate-neutral in its products and production by 2040. The company is committed to “science-based goals” in order to achieve CO 2 neutrality.
By the middle of the decade, GM plans to offer 30 all-electric models worldwide, such as the battery-electric Cadillac Lyric , a six-seater with a range of around 480 km, presented in August 2020 . With this, GM is reaffirming its target announced in November 2020. 40 percent of the US model range should be battery-electric vehicles by then. To this end, US $ 27 billion is to be invested in electrically powered and autonomous vehicles over the next five years. In the transition period, the fuel efficiency of conventionally powered vehicles is to increase further in accordance with regional regulations for fuel consumption. That should go without saying. GM did not bring a reduction beyond these values into play.
Climate-neutral electricity and emissions trading
In order to improve the carbon footprint of its plants, all locations in the USA are to be supplied with climate-neutral electricity by 2030 and all production sites worldwide by 2035. GM is already the tenth largest buyer of renewable energies worldwide and received the Green Power Leadership Award 2020 from the US environmental protection agency in 2020. For the remaining emissions, CO 2 certificates are to be paid for temporarily in emissions trading .
M is once again pulling out its plan, announced in summer 2020, to triple the number of charging stations in the country’s largest fast charging system with its partner EVgo. More than 2,700 new fast chargers are to be installed by the end of 2025 in order to accelerate the acceptance of electric vehicles. At all charging points, customers should obtain electricity from 100 percent renewable energy. GM sees the energy sector “on the way to a decarbonised grid” and wants “a fully electric future to be supported by renewable infrastructures and technologies”.
U-turn after Biden’s election
So far there is little new to read. The background against which these announcements are made seems more interesting. They follow a U-turn following the election of Joe Biden as US President in November 2020. The company advocated stricter CO 2 limits after Biden’s victory , having previously fought them in line with Trump’s protectionist plans.
After Trump announced in September 2019 that California would withdraw its decades-old privilege of having its own standards, at the end of October 2019 GM, together with Fiat Chrysler, Toyota and ten smaller automakers , sided with the Trump administration , which gave California the right to its own in favor of the auto industry Wanted to agree emission standards.
GM has to adapt to laws from California
BMW, Ford, Volkswagen, Volvo and Honda, on the other hand, found the Californian emission regulations better for their export-oriented business model and concluded an agreement with the Californian environmental authority . The lowering of the standards should have eased the industry from production costs. The group of BMW, Ford, Volkswagen, Volvo and Honda argued against it that cars manufactured according to a softened standard would not be internationally competitive and therefore without export opportunities.
California has decreed no more cars with gasoline or diesel engines from 2035. The US state is the largest regional US automobile market and at the same time a role model for global emissions legislation. It is not only followed by many other US states, but also by the countries of the most important automobile markets worldwide.