End of the beginning in sustainability

October 04, 2017 by Denis Pombriant

Earlier this week both Ford and General Motors announced big plans to revamp their entire fleets by the mid 2020’s using electric vehicles. According to the New York Times, GM’s CEO Mary Barra,

“…announced plans for 20 new all-electric models by 2023, including two within the next 18 months.”

And shortly thereafter,

“Ford let loose with its own announcement, saying it would add 13 electrified models over the next several years, with a five-year investment of $4.5 billion.”


The big carmakers joined Volvo which earlier this year announced that by 2019 it would only produce either electric cars or hybrids. No more pure internal combustion driven cars.

While this represents a victory of sorts for sustainability it comes with a stern admonition. Earth is running out of petroleum and fossil fuels in general. The current glut of oil for sale is keeping prices artificially low as the industry conducts its going out of business sale.

Carmakers know that the way to stay in business is to produce what the market will need in the near future and they are unceremoniously ditching gas-guzzlers for electrics.

But this brings up lots of other issues that are addressed throughout this site and in the book. Like what do we do for carbon sources for manufacturing if we burn all the oil? Also cars make a lot of pollution but what about the other big polluters like power plants?

The car companies’ announcements are a big milestone but there’s no time to rest. We still need to provide new electricity for those cars as well as replace all the fossil generation capacity. It’s highly possible and other articles here will help show how.


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