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Will the Shift to Electric Vehicles Have Unintended Negative Consequences?

General Motors announced earlier last month that the company would stop building both diesel and gas-powered cars and trucks by 2035. The company plans to offer electric vehicles only. This is part of the journey to becoming carbon neutral by the year 2040. But what are some of the unintended consequences of this move?

Why does the change to electric vehicles mean fewer workers?

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While this news is great for the planet, the announcement comes with an unintended negative. Autoblog noted that Daimler chairman Martin Daum said this change would come with losing jobs at the German powertrain plants by 2033. He commented that the cuts would be gradual and “achieved via retirements and voluntary packages.”

In comparison to traditional engines, electric vehicles have fewer parts. In turn, this means fewer people needed to help create the engines. The powertrain plants in Germany currently employ around 14,000 workers. It isn’t clear yet how many people will be cut.

“We can use demographic changes and voluntary (severance) agreements. We will have no forced layoffs,” Daum said. Though electric vehicles will be more common in the future, such sales currently occupy less than 5% of sales in the industry right now (per CNBC).

This might not be the last time we hear such a story as automakers make the switch. Other jobs will need to be created with the loss of outdated or obsolete jobs.

Daimler and Cummins also came to an agreement

Daimler and Cummins have also entered into an agreement. Cummins will invest in the development of medium-duty truck engines for Daimler. In addition to that, Cummins will be creating and delivering similar engines for Daimler trucks and busses after that.

This is good news for future technological advances. The money that would have been invested into developing these engines has been freed up for use elsewhere since Cummins will be taking over.

“We are now freeing up these funds to focus them on the technologies that are crucial to our long-term corporate success in the transformation of our industry,” Daum said in a statement. Other automakers won’t be far behind.

What electric vehicles does General Motors make?

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Currently, the only electric vehicle General Motors offers is the Chevy Bolt. The 2021 version got a redesign but with that, it also received a redesigned MSRP of $36,500. The Bolt gets an estimated 260 miles on a single charge. It takes about nine hours for a full charge.

General Motors plans to release the GMC Hummer EV, touted as the world’s first zero-emissions, all-electric supertruck. This EV Edition 1 is slated for release in the fall of 2021. All of the initial reservations are full. Next up is the EV2X in the fall of 2022. There are also plans for a Cadillac LYRIQ SUV to be released in early 2022.

LeBron James signed on to be a part of the Super Bowl ad and has been seen other ads throughout the start of the year. “So futuristic but so bold at the same time,” James commented. Will celebrities be able to give electric vehicles the boost in popularity needed? We will have to wait and see.