Six automakers agree to phase out fossil fuel vehicles by 2040



A return to production by General Motors, Ford Motor and Fiat Chrysler on Monday should give the economy a boost. Photo: AFP / File

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A return to production by General Motors, Ford Motor and Fiat Chrysler on Monday should give the economy a boost. Photo: AFP / File

Six major automakers on Wednesday will pledge to phase out production of fossil-fueled vehicles globally by 2040, as part of global efforts to reduce carbon emissions, the UK government said in a statement.

But sources familiar with the contents of the pledge said some major automakers, including the world’s two largest, Toyota Motor Corp and Volkswagen AG, and critical auto markets of China, the United States and the United States. Germany have not signed.

This highlighted the challenges that remain to move towards a zero-emission future.

Cars, trucks, ships, buses and planes account for about a quarter of all global carbon emissions, according to data from the International Energy Agency, the bulk of which comes from road vehicles.

Volvo of Sweden, US automakers Ford Motor Co and General Motors Co, Mercedes-Benz of Daimler AG, BYD Co Ltd of China, and Jaguar Land Rover, a unit of Tata Motors Ltd of India, were to sign the pledge when climate talks in Glasgow, the latest move to limit global warming by mid-century.

Volvo has already made a commitment to go 100% electric by 2030.

Britain, which hosts the COP26 summit, said four new countries, including New Zealand and Poland, join other countries already committed to ensuring all new cars and vans are zero-emission by now. 2040 or earlier.

The statement comes on a transport day at the conference.

But the apparent reluctance of China, the world’s largest auto market, and the United States – the world’s largest economy and second-largest auto market – to join the pledge raises questions about its effectiveness.

GM said it was “proud to now stand alongside other companies, governments and civil society organizations in supporting the declaration to commit to working for a transition to 100% zero-emission vehicles by 2035” .

Ford confirmed their participation and said: “It will take everyone to work together to be successful.

Sources said that while the United States is not joining the pledge, major car buying states like California and New York have signed on.

An auto industry source said some automakers are wary of the commitment because it commits them to costly technological change, but lacks a similar commitment from governments to ensure that infrastructure charging and network would be built to support electric vehicles.

In the summer, the European Commission proposed an effective ban on fossil-fueled vehicles by 2035, accompanied by a pledge to recharge the infrastructure that automakers had demanded.

World No. 4 automaker Stellantis was also absent from the latest engagement, as were Japanese automakers Honda Motor Co Ltd and Nissan Motor Co Ltd; German BMW and Korean Hyundai Motor Co.

According to sources, ride-sharing company Uber Technologies Inc will also be a signatory.

The UK government’s statement said a joint statement would also be signed by companies, including food retailer Sainsbury’s and cities around the world, aimed at making their vehicle fleets green.


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