Major carmakers to unveil plans to boost EV sales

By Arianna Skibell | 08/04/2021 03:17 PM EST

An electric vehicle at a charging station. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Three major automakers are expected at a White House event tomorrow to announce a voluntary agreement to increase electric vehicle sales by decade’s end, according to multiple sources.

General Motors Co.; Ford Motor Co.; and Stellantis NV, the company formerly known as Fiat Chrysler, will commit to 40% to 50% electrified vehicle sales by 2030.

The Biden administration is aiming to announce the goal alongside updated clean car standards, though sources said the long-anticipated tailpipe rules may be released Friday instead (Climatewire, July 27).

While the three companies have separately set goals to achieve more than 40% EV sales by 2030, sources said the White House is aiming to project a united front with the auto industry and the union representing a significant chunk of its workers, the United Auto Workers.

UAW spokesman Brian Rothenberg said his group is “still in discussions” with the White House but is planning to release a statement soon.

According to the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, the auto industry has committed to investing more than $330 billion in electric vehicle expansion by 2025, including plug-in hybrid, battery and fuel cell EVs.

Earlier this year, GM set a goal to phase out all gasoline passenger car and truck sales by 2035. In July, Stellantis said electric vehicles would account for more than 40% of sales in North America and 70% in Europe by 2030.

And Ford announced that at least 40% of its global sales will be electric by 2030.

“Also, you may have heard our CEO Jim Farley say Wednesday that customer reaction to EVs so far is exceeding our expectations, and we’re going to stay ahead of customer demand,” Ford spokesperson Melissa Miller said in an email.

The White House’s announcement comes as states and some of the world’s leading governments take far more aggressive efforts to phase out internal combustion engines. California and Massachusetts have committed to ending the sale of gas-powered vehicles by 2035, with at least 11 other states considering following suit. The European Union has also proposed banning the sale of gas engines by 2035, which is a necessary step to stave off catastrophic warming, according to an International Energy Agency report released this week (Climatewire, May 18).