DETROIT — Fourteen years ago, General Motors surprised the industry by unveiling the Chevrolet Volt, a car meant to kick-start the automaker's journey toward electrification.
In another 14 years, GM hopes to sell nothing but electric vehicles.
It has set a goal of discontinuing anything with a tailpipe by 2035 en route to becoming completely carbon-neutral by 2040 — a decade sooner than the target Ford Motor Co. proclaimed just last summer.
"It puts that line in the sand for General Motors. It gives the organization a focal point from top to bottom to say, 'This is what we're working for,' " Stephanie Brinley, principal automotive analyst at IHS Markit, told Automotive News.
And getting there means transitioning from a portfolio composed of just one EV in the U.S. today to one in which even the automaker's hulking pickups and high-performance sports cars are battery-powered.
Last week's proclamation came after GM progressively deepened its commitment to electrification over the past year. The automaker plans to invest $27 billion in electric and autonomous vehicle development and launch 30 EVs globally through 2025. GM also has developed proprietary batteries with LG Chem and launched BrightDrop, a commercial EV brand.
GM aims to sell zero-emission vehicles across a range of price points and segments, power its facilities with renewable energy and work with stakeholders to build a charging infrastructure and promote customer adoption of EVs.
"To get there we'll have 100 percent of our portfolio fully electric, and that's the vision we're setting," Dane Parker, chief sustainability officer, said on a call with reporters last week.