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Two of the world's largest auto companies announced major strides this week in their development of electric vehicles, marking the latest milestone in a significant shift towards EVs in the automobile industry.
On Monday, General Motors unveiled plans to roll out 20 new entirely electric car models by 2023, with two of the new EVs coming out in the next 18 months. Meanwhile, Ford announced the creation of "Team Edison," intended to accelerate the company's EV development and partnership work. The name, Quartz noted, is "seemingly in direct response to Elon Musk's Tesla, which recently surpassed Ford's market capitalization."
After the GM announcement, a Ford executive told Automotive News it was also on track to roll out 13 new EV models over the next five years. Many experts agree that a wave of new regulations worldwide, including strong commitments from the Chinese government to roll out electric vehicles, are doing more to influence the direction of U.S. automakers than consumer demand.
"General Motors believes in an all-electric future," Mark L. Reuss, G.M.'s global product chief, told the New York Times. "Although that future won't happen overnight, G.M. is committed to driving increased usage and acceptance of electric vehicles."
As reported by the New York Times:
"The automakers believe they can solve the problem of achieving—as G.M.'s chief executive, Mary T. Barra, has begun stressing—a world with "zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion."
It is a stunning statement from a company that, together with Ford, sells more large pickup trucks and full-size sport utility vehicles than the rest of the global industry combined—and from an industry that grudgingly got into building electric vehicles in the face of stricter fuel emissions standards."
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