General Motors to Stop Selling Petroleum-Powered Cars

General Motors announced today that it would stop selling petroleum-powered cars by 2035:

• Fred Krup, Why GM’s clean cars announcement is a really big deal, EDF Voices Blog, 28 January 2021.

Fred Krup is president of the Environmental Defense Fund, a famous environmental organization. He writes:

Today I was pleased to lend my support to GM’s dramatic announcement that it is working to eliminate tailpipe emissions from all of its new light-duty vehicles by 2035, and to be carbon neutral in its global products and operations by 2040. EDF has been working with GM to develop a shared vision for an all-electric future, and we’re proud to have played a part in this breakthrough moment.

Why is this a big deal? When a leading U.S. carmaker takes such a step, it sends a powerful signal to the industry that being on the road to zero emissions is an essential element of every automaker’s business plan. There can be no doubt: The future of transportation, starting now, is electric.

This interacts in a nice way with Biden’s announcement this week that U.S. government would replace its entire fleet of ~645,000 cars, trucks and SUVs with electric vehicles manufactured in the United States.

6 Responses to General Motors to Stop Selling Petroleum-Powered Cars

  1. Brent Meeker says:

    What we need is a standard that all EV and solar panel power systems will conform to such that an EV plugged into your house power constitutes a battery power reservoir either for you if the grid is down or for the grid. My Chevy Volt’s battery would power my house in a conservative mode for a couple of days.

    • John Baez says:

      I agree. You can charge an electric car from the solar polar at your home if your car is at home during the day, or conversely use the car battery as a power source if that’s necessary. But a lot of people drive their cars to work during the day (unfortunately), so they may find it easier to charge their cars from solar power there. With enough standardization and flexibility, lots of arrangements are possible.

      • Brent Meeker says:

        Another change that should be mandated thru building codes and permits is to replace all use of gas for heating and cooking. Heat pumps are roughly four times as efficient as direct heating even if the power plant burns natural gas. And as summers become hotter everyone is going to want air conditioning anyway, so they might as well be required to go to a heat pump for heating and electric stoves for cooking.

  2. domenico says:

    I am thinking that a world standardization of the electric car could lead to lower component prices (both for research on components and for the cost of production): for example the charging columns (there would be one worldwide, with updated software or updated boards), the electric motors dimension, the battery pack dimension.
    I am thinking that if there was a standard, then there will be a multitude of competing producers, with a reduction in prices for changes due to evolutionary competition in the technologies: the electric vehicles could compete with combustion vehicles.
    But there is the problem of domestic production, but which can be circumvented by adopting only cars with (for example) a 70% in the cost of national components (to share, and receive, world standards), attracting production on domestic soil.
    There is also the problem that many plants are highly robotized by reducing the contribution of human work, and therefore robotic work should be gradually taxed or should be gradually introduced research work equivalent to the work performed by some robots: only in this case would an increase in production correspond to a benefit for citizen: if there was a totally robotic plant for some products, there would be no advantage for a nation, except the value-added tax without work for citizen.

  3. domenico says:

    I am thinking that could be useful, to accelerate the development of critical component of electric cars (and green technology in general) to create joint-stock research company (for example battery SRA, or engine SRA, like an institute of applied research) where the company values are the patents usable in a country (I use a CERN analogy in basic research where there are a sharing of basic research), and the company shares are proportional to the earnings obtained from the transfer of patents, with an overall limit on the request value on a single component by the users of the patents: I am thinking a quick request from the maker company, with an immediate release of the patents with a SRA software (a SRA research company that have few employees and software based), with an immediate use and patent sharing.
    Each industry can collect earning for each patent, use a set of patents paying the SRA.
    The SRA can buy patents, each little research company can transfer patents hoping for the success of its use and taking shares of the SRA (base on estimate or measured patents use), and SRA could fund research in small innovative companies obtaing patents (a percentage of revenue per research in little and great companies).
    If everything is software automated then the use of each single patent is immediate, without obstacles in research and development, and exhausting negotiation.

  4. This is good initiative. car manfacturer should built the environment friend electric cars.

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