General Motors Chairman and CEO, Dan Akerson, has issued a statement reconfirming the automaker's commitment to double the number of models it produces that achieve 40-mpg or better EPA highway ratings by 2017. At the moment, the list is an all-Chevrolet product roster and includes the Cruze Eco, Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel, Sonic and Volt. However, the soon-to-launch 2014 Spark EV and the upcoming Cadillac ELR also will handily top that benchmark freeway figure.

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In follow-up comments detailing how well GM is moving ahead with plans initially presented in its 2012 Sustainability Report to further reduce the energy it uses in manufacturing processes and lessen the overall environmental impact, Akerson also reiterated that the firm will lower its total U.S. fleet CO2 emissions 15 percent by 2016 and trim 27 percent from those of its Euro-based Opel/Vauxhall divisions by 2020. Part of that rollback will be realized by increasing sales of its pure electric and/or hybrid vehicles, which are still targeted to number 500,000 units by 2017.

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"Sustainability is not only a key part of how GM is shifting from a good to great company, it is about the leadership and innovation that can transform the auto industry," noted Akerson. "Our long-term approach to sustainability enables us to increase efficiency and re-imagine personal mobility to best meet customer needs and lifestyles."

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