BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – As automakers work to deliver more vehicles to dealer lots, General Motors CEO Mary Barra was making a bold prediction.
“By 2035, all of our light-duty vehicles in the U.s. will be electric because we want to lead from a full-line manufacturer perspective,” Barra said.
But the vast majority of cars sold now are still gas or diesel-powered, with lots of questions about access to charging stations and whether the electric grid will support EVs.
“Those are great questions, and they are really great questions for our leadership in government, leadership at the state level and federal level,” said Alexa Sweeney, with Sweeny Buick GMC Chevrolet.
Senator Rob Portman, R-Ohio, thinks talk of mass production is premature.
“We gotta increase the grid before we got to electric vehicles. It just doesn’t make sense. We are sort of putting the cart before the horse,” Portman said.
Senator Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said while there will be federal incentives to help manufacturers, private businesses will need to step up.
“We’re gonna compete with each other, too. Who can produce electricity the most efficiently? Who can produce these batteries the most efficiently? Who can produce these charging stations?” Brown said.
To help facilitate this switch to EVS, GM dealers like Sweeney’s in Boardman are already offering assistance to electric vehicle buyers to install new charging equipment in their homes, and the dealership is planning to install its own public charging stations.
“Some of these things that we can do on our level is helping with that infrastructure–and an operating facility that is safe and reliable and accessible to the public use,” Sweeney said.
For now, it’s a matter of just how quickly all the different pieces can come together.