By Nathalie Voit


In an effort to compete with Tesla, General Motors (GM) has spent billions to electrify its vehicles. The automaker, which announced in January its plans to become carbon neutral by 2040, revealed on Oct. 6 its intention to become a leader in the electric vehicle market.


“We are all in on electrification and our commitment to create a world with zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion. The inflection point for our company, and our society, has arrived. Now the question is – are you in?” Mary T. Barra, GM’s chief executive, wrote on Twitter.


GM has ambitious plans to double its annual revenue to $280 billion by 2030, much of which would stem from the sale of new electric trucks and vehicles. As part of its decarbonization pledge, the automaker plans to fully transition to zero-emissions vehicles by 2035. GM will phase out sales from traditional gasoline-powered vehicles by then, the company revealed in its January press statement.


“For General Motors, our most significant carbon impact comes from tailpipe emissions of the vehicles that we sell – in our case, it’s 75 percent,” Barra announced on LinkedIn. “That is why it is so important that we accelerate toward a future in which every vehicle we sell is a zero-emissions vehicle.”


In addition to envisioning a world with zero emissions, the company also prides itself in its commitment to zero crashes and zero congestion, which it hopes to achieve through the use of autonomous vehicles and advanced safety and security features similar to those in which Tesla has invested.


The company is launching a slew of new digitally powered services and safe-driving technologies like PeriscopeUltium battery cells, and at-home EV charging stations in its bid to transition from automaker to “platform innovator.”


GM is not the only automaker to invest in electrification. Other established automakers like Ford have similarly unveiled plans to develop electric vehicles. This year, Ford began selling the Mustang Mach-e, the first all-electric crossover. The company also plans to release the F-150 Lightning this spring, an electric version of its iconic best-selling vehicle.  


Several startups are also venturing into the electric vehicle space. Among them is Rivian, an Amazon-backed electric vehicle maker.


Nevertheless, the company is poised to become an industry leader.


“We want to be No. 1 in E.V. market share in the United States,” Barra said.