General Motors’ $20 billion EV plan starts by abandoning Trump’s emissions rollback

GM CEO Mary Barra speaking at the company's EV Day on March 4, 2020. Credit: Tesla Daily Podcast

‘General Motors has announced its plans to begin manufacturing electric vehicles at scale. To make its $20 billion plan a reality, it has to do one thing: Acknowledge that its alignment with President Donald Trump’s emissions rollback efforts is a lost cause. This is because creating electric vehicles and abiding by an environmentally-harming plan go together like oil and water.

When GM decided that it would follow along with President Trump’s auto emissions rollback efforts and not with California’s Clean Air Act, the state made the decision to halt the purchase of vehicles from the automaker. But on March 4, GM held its first “EV Day” where it outlined an ambitious plan to dive into and saturate the EV sector, making it evident the company is ready to make a serious push towards the adoption of sustainable vehicles.

GM has said to customers for years that it will pursue a future that promotes environmental longevity. However, the company’s decision to not abide by California’s environmental plan seems to show it has not been completely dedicated to ideas that could help the Earth.

To make its push toward electric vehicles and sustainability a reality, GM has to begin by abandoning Trump’s emissions rollback efforts that would lower the average fuel efficiency requirements of vehicles. If successful, the government’s initiative could result in automakers rolling out gas-guzzling vehicles once more, similar to the rise of SUVs following the death of the EV1, GM’s electric car.

The Trump administration’s plan is expected to hike oil consumption in the United States by half a billion barrels a day, but it could also reduce automakers regulatory costs by more than $300 billion annually, according to Reuters. This would put more money in the carmaker’s pockets, but more carbon dioxide into the air.

While GM is not the only automaker to side with the Trump rollback efforts, it is the only one that is making a big push toward an electric lineup. When asked to comment, the company said, Regardless of the standards, we are committed to a future of zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion. The pathway to that future includes continually improving fuel economy year-over-year and our commitment to an all-electric future.”

This year, GM resurrected of the Hummer, but this time around, the vehicle will be all-electric and won’t boast the same devil-may-care fuel consumption that its gas-powered predecessors did. While GM has notable EVs like the Chevy Bolt, the automaker’s plans for the release of an electric lineup of vehicles must still coincide with the company’s larger goals.

Volkswagen, Ford, BMW, and Honda have all committed to increases in fuel economy year-over-year. GM can become the next automaker to adopt this pledge, but it must first take a strong stance against the administration’s emissions rollback efforts. If GM cannot do this, then its $20 billion electric vehicle plan may end up being just that — a plan, and very little else.

General Motors’ $20 billion EV plan starts by abandoning Trump’s emissions rollback
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