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An Electric Future

A driver charges his Chevy Bolt in San Francisco, California, in March 2019. PAUL CHINN—SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE/GETTY IMAGES

In January, General Motors (GM) made an announcement. The company plans to stop selling gas-powered cars. This will happen by 2035. Instead, the company will make more electric cars.

GM is just one company making electric cars. This could help the environment. Most cars run on gas. They give off carbon dioxide carbon dioxide WILATLAK VILLETTE—GETTY IMAGES a gas that is exhaled by animals or released by burning fuels (noun) Trees absorb carbon dioxide. . This adds to climate change. Electric cars are cleaner. Venkat Viswanathan is a professor. He works at Carnegie Mellon University. That is in Pennsylvania. “Electric is the future,” he says.

This Chevy Bolt is on display in Seoul, South Korea, in March 2017. The Bolt was GM’s first mass-produced all-electric vehicle.


A Cleaner Way

Electric cars use batteries. These batteries are like the ones in smartphones. They can be recharged. And the material inside can be recycled.

Electric cars are not perfect. They are recharged with energy from power plants. These plants burn fossil fuels fossil fuel TETRA IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES a fuel formed in the earth by plant or animal remains (noun) Most cars run on gasoline, which is made from fossil fuels. . But countries can switch to cleaner energy sources. These include wind and solar power. That means electric vehicles can get cleaner too.

A worker handles electric-car batteries at a factory in Nanjing, China, in March 2021.


Not many people own an electric car. Two things need to happen first. More charging stations need to be built. They must be widely available. And electric cars must cost less. Last year, 67 million new cars were sold. Only about 3 million were electric.

But this is just the beginning. Viswanathan thinks we will one day have more solar-powered homes. We may even have electric cars that fly. “Your entire life will run on batteries,” he says. “It will be a totally new world.”


A worker inspects an electric car in February 2021. The factory is in Jinhua, China.

On the Rise

Sales of electric vehicles (EVs) are going up. Look at the chart. It shows cars sold through 2030. By then, half could be electric.


Electric cars are getting more popular. That is because prices are falling. And it is happening faster than expected. Batteries are getting better. They are getting cheaper, too. Soon, a battery-powered vehicle might be as cheap as a gas-powered one.