The first splash in a new wave of electric vehicles from General Motors is the $112,595 2022 GMC Hummer EV full-size electric pickup truck. So, does that mean GM sees EVs as transportation for the rich? Not at all.
GM chairman and CEO Mary Barra wants “equitable climate action” and put some money behind her words in announcing a new fund to address climate change and help bring electric transportation to all.
Speaking at the Aspen Ideas Festival, Barra expressed her concerns that the EV world GM is helping to create must offer electric vehicles of all sizes, shapes, and price points in the future, but must also address the need for those who buy used vehicles and those who will rely on ride sharing.
GM Introduces Climate Equity Fund
Barra announced a $25 million Climate Equity Fund to help close equity gaps in the transition to electric vehicles and other sustainable technology knowing climate change does not impact every community equally. Grassroots non-profit community organizations can apply for funding for work that addresses issues associated with climate change.
Barra made the announcement as heavy rains once again deluged Detroit where GM is headquartered. The area continues to recover from massive flooding that closed freeways, stranded motorists, knocked out electricity, flooded homes and businesses, and sparked more concern about the effect of climate change on weather patterns.
New, Used, and Rideshare Vehicles Need to Be Electric
Barra’s hope is that GM will no longer sell new vehicles with tailpipes by 2035 and that customers of all economic status will be able to take advantage of an EV-centric world that includes affordable entry-level EVs, used EVs, and fleets of EVs for ride sharing. It also includes making sure all owners, even those who live in apartments, can easily charge electric vehicles. We want to ensure EVs for everyone, Barra says.
Barra also addressed concerns that electric vehicles have fewer parts which will result in fewer jobs building them. The antidote to that is bringing more work in-house. That includes the four battery cell plants GM has announced that will make the crucial battery cells in the U.S. rather than importing them.
Worker Training Underway
Training GM’s workforce to make electric vehicles is already underway as the 2022 GMC Hummer prepares to launch this fall, to be followed by more EVs, including the Cruise Origin autonomous robo-taxi.
GM also created BrightDrop for autonomous delivery service using the electric BrightDrop EV600 commercial van that will go into production at the CAMI plant in Ontario later this year.
The Climate Equity Fund is in addition to the $35 billion that GM is investing in electric and autonomous vehicles with plans to introduce 30 new EVs globally by 2025, retool plants to make electric vehicles, develop more dense and less costly battery cells and manufacture them domestically, and expand the charging network.
“Climate change does not impact every community equally,” Barra said. GM wants to be a leader in bringing solutions to its employees, dealers, suppliers, and the communities they live in, she said, so no one is left out in the transition to a cleaner future.
Source: Read Full Article