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GM's US factories will switch to renewable energy five years ahead of schedule

It has previously flip-flopped on fuel-efficiency rules and EVs, though.

Rebecca Cook / reuters

Earlier this year, GM announced plans to go green by 2035 with the vehicles it produces and by 2030 with how it produces them. Now, the company has announced that it will be well ahead schedule on the "how" part, using 100 percent renewable energy across its US operations by 2025 — five years ahead of schedule.

To achieve the goal, GM said it would increase energy efficiency and source renewables for its facilities. It also plans to create technology to store renewable energy over the medium and long term and "create microgrids that help deploy renewable energy."

“We know climate action is a priority and every company must push itself to decarbonize further and faster,” said GM Chief Sustainability Officer Kristen Siemen. “That’s what we are doing by aiming to achieve 100 percent renewable energy five years earlier in the US."

It also detailed plans to work with a company called PJM Interconnection to track energy usage based on carbon output of the grid at any given time. "When the power being supplied consists mostly of fossil fuels, GM can make informed decisions about tapping into stored renewable energy or reduce the amount of power being consumed," the company said.

As for the vehicles it produces, GM plans to have 30 EVs globally by 2025, and still plans to "eliminate tailpipe emissions for new light-duty vehicles (i.e., cars, SUVs and pickups) by 2035." The wording suggests that could include hydrogen-powered cars, though GM appears to be focusing mostly on EVs.

GM's plans to reduce pollution have drifted with the political winds, however. It was one of several automakers that backed the Trump administration's plan to bar California and other states from setting their own pollution and zero-emission requirements. That would have allowed manufacturers to raise fuel efficiency by just 1.5 percent per year, well below the previous administration's five percent requirement. GM withdrew from the litigation shortly after Joe Biden was elected President.