General Motors is driving the Chevy to the carbon-neutral levy.

American automaker giant General Motors has announced a plan to go carbon neutral and produce no vehicles with traditional engines by 2035.

The announcement lists a bevy of environmentally-motivated action plans such as using only renewable energy to power its US operations by 2030, using renewables only for global production by 2035, and having no light-duty vehicles with tailpipe emissions by 2035.

What this entails is that the company known for making some of the biggest V8 engines and cars will have only whisper-quiet electric vehicles in less than 15 years.

But an omission by the company in its statement is that this is only an aspiration, and perhaps we will continue to see petrol and diesel engines in some vehicles – not least of which, we will certainly see in its heavy-duty vehicles like the Silverado.

“GM aspires to eliminate tailpipe emissions from new light-duty vehicles by 2035,” says the company in its media release.

Of course, electric vehicles are expensive and are not practicable for long-distance driving yet. Charging times can be quite a wait, and the batteries can be quickly depleted – unless you have a large battery, which is expensive and heavy. The best answer right now is hybrid vehicles, which can drop emissions significantly yet offer the best of both worlds.

Cars like the Silverado will need to keep traditional ICE engines, while its green counter-part, the new GMC Hummer, is an all-electric pickup for cruising Hollywood Boulevard. Then there are sports cars like the Corvette and Cadillac’s Blackwing that deploy V8 engines – will these soon be as loud as a remote control car?

More likely is that they will go performance hybrid, and more and more electric SUVs and hatchbacks like the Bolt, will be in the lineup. But maintaining sanity for those who need something more practical and who need to drive across country, there will probably be options that use much more efficient engines than now, though still sipping on petrol or diesel in some way or another.

And making up for the potential that not all cars will be ’emissions free’?

“To account for the expected remaining carbon emissions, GM expects to invest in carbon credits or offsets. The company will assess credit and offset solutions in the coming years as the most efficient, equitable and inclusive ideas mature. The company recognizes that offsets must be used sparingly and should reflect a holistic view of mitigating the effects of climate change and helping people thrive around the world.”


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Alex Rae

Alex Rae brings almost two decades’ experience, previously working at publications including Wheels, WhichCar, Drive/Fairfax,, AMC, Just Cars, and more.


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