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How the nation's largest automakers including Ford and GM have been forced to revise their strategies to face a future that wants a new kind of car

How the nation's largest automakers including Ford and GM have been forced to revise their strategies to face a future that wants a new kind of car

General Motors' Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly being transformed into Factory ZERO.
General Motors




Automakers in the US are grappling with two opposing trends: Americans want big cars, while governments in large markets in the US and abroad are ramping up restrictions on tailpipe emissions.




That's forced US auto giants including Ford and General Motors to revise their strategies with a plan to pump out large electric vehicles like pick-up trucks, cargo vans, and SUVs.




These companies are also investing in charging infrastructure. It's the first time that carmakers — and not oil companies — are helping to build out networks of refueling stations.




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American automakers face an unusual problem: Consumers want big cars, while, at the same time, governments who oversee large markets in the US and abroad are ramping up restrictions on tailpipe emissions. Some are pledging to phase out sales of cars with combustion engines entirely.Those seemingly opposing trends are forcing US carmakers to revisit the strategies that have served them for decades. They still want to pump out big trucks and SUVs to satisfy American drivers, but with a twist: at least some of these vehicles will be electric. The shift is driven not only by tightening regulations, but also by improving technology that limits the compromises consumers are forced to make when they buy electric cars. That technology a?? namely, cheap lithium-ion batteries a?? is giving way to larger EVs that last longer between charges.General Motors, which sided with the Trump administration in a move that supported weakening fuel economy standards just a year ago, now says it's committed to an all-electric future and has split with the administration. Known for its gas-hungry utility vehicles, the firm announced earlier this month that it will launch 30 new EVs by 2025.
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