In its annual sustainability report, General Motors highlighted progress made in terms of eco-friendliness and set goals for the future to decrease its environmental impact as a whole.
One of these goals is a promise to double the number of models that achieve at least 40mpg highway by 2017. Currently, GM has four models that get 40 mpg (or MPGe) highway or above: the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Eco and Diesel (42mpg and 46mpg highway, respectively), the 2013 Chevrolet Sonic (40mpg highway), the 2013 Chevrolet Volt (40mpg highway), and the 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV (109mpg-e highway).
If GM is promising twice this number of 40-plus-mpg vehicles by 2017, expect upcoming models like the 2014 Cadillac ELR, which shares its range-extended drivetrain with the Volt, to be a part of this total. There should be more hybrid and electric vehicles by 2017 as well, as GM set a target number of 500,000 vehicles with some kind of electrification on the road by then.
Hopefully GM will take one step further than the unimpressive “mild hybrid” system found on cars like the 2014 Buick Regal and 2014 Chevrolet Malibu Eco, as the eAssist hybrid system lags behind even conventional gasoline engines with direct-injection in terms of fuel economy estimates. For instance, the Chevrolet Malibu Eco only achieves 36mpg highway compared to other midsize sedans like the Nissan Altima and Mazda 6 that achieve 38mpg highway without any sort of hybrid system.
Other elements of the report include a commitment to increase the number of landfill-free manufacturing facilities and reduce the total amount of waste created through manufacturing and production. This fits in with the company’s 2011 signing of a Climate Declaration pledge declaring that going green is good for business. The automaker says tit is able to recycle and reuse 90 percent of manufacturing waste which generates around $1 billion in revenue each year.
With the company’s statement that it will reduce U.S. fleet CO2 emissions by 15 percent within the next three years, we’ll soon see what the company has up its eco-friendly sleeve.