General Motors announced on Thursday that it will be removing diesel and gasoline options from its manifesto entirely by 2035. The company aims to step up the electric car game and the roadmap is all set up by Beijing.
G.M. will have no alternative but to adopt automotive and battery developments in which Chinese firms play a leading role.
Chinese Authorities have enacted policies that require cars to be electric and G.M seems to be matching the tempo.
General Motors seems to be matching Beijing’s speed. Just three months ago, Chinese policymakers ordered that most vehicles sold in China must be electric by 2035.
It is not immediately clear when its manufacturing capability would change, and the company refused on Friday to comment on what effect Beijing’s policies might have had on its planning. It didn’t discuss China on Thursday in its announcement.
China is already the biggest automotive market in the world, accounting for a quarter of global sales. It’s higher than the U.S. and Japanese car markets combined.
China’s presence also applies to the industry of manufacturing electric vehicles. Concerned about its own emissions issues and willing to be competitive in future developments, Beijing has long been offering subsidies to its electric car industry. Even during the global financial crisis a dozen years ago, China already offered its taxi fleets and local government agencies up to $8,800 per car to choose the electric option.
Chinese firms influence the production of electric motors in the world. China has also acquired leverage of much of the world’s supply of the primary raw materials required for electric vehicles, namely lithium, cobalt, and rare earth metals.
General Motors’s Thursday announcement affirms China’s long electric car gamble. Only a few years back, American car factories were dedicated to diesel engines. The German automakers pushed the diesel. Japanese businesses have stressed the importance of gasoline-electric hybrids.