The future of travel is less and less dependent on fossil fuels. That’s clear, and it’s essential if we are to save ourselves from ourselves. Tesla’s Elon Musk has promised that after almost 15 years of development of very expensive, high-performance electric cars, his company is ready to begin rolling out more consumer-friendly (aka affordable) electric cars. But Tesla is a smaller company with nowhere near the manufacturing infrastructure of major car companies, and it seems that General Motors now believes electric will be the key to their future success. They recently announced that they will be pushing out two new electric models to join their already existing Bolt and Volt, with the promise of possibly 18 new electric vehicles for sale by 2023.
That product onslaught puts the company at the forefront of an increasingly large crowd of automakers proclaiming the age of electricity and promising to move away from gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles. In recent months, Volvo, Aston Martin, and Jaguar Land Rover have announced similar moves. GM’s declaration, though, is particularly noteworthy because it’s among the very largest automakers on the planet. It sold 10 million cars last year, ranging from pickups to SUVs to urban runabouts.
And of course, this is all in spite of our current administration’s anti-science and environmental health policies.
To be sure, GM’s sudden jolt of electricity is planned with its shareholders in mind. The Trump Administration may be moving to roll back fuel efficiency requirements in the US, but the rest of the world is insisting on an electric age. France, Great Britain, the Netherlands, and Norway have all said they plan to ban the sale of gas and diesel cars in the coming decades. More importantly, China—the world’s largest car market—and India, a rising star, plan to join them. No automaker can compete globally without a compelling stable of electric cars.
Little countries like China have already made it clear that they too understand that the times are changing, and having power over people is only worth while if everybody is … you know ... alive.