The business community driving electric vehicles

The business community driving electric vehicles

EV100 is a new global initiative gathering companies that pledge to electrify their fleet by 2030 and use their collective influence and buying power to stimulate the electric vehicle market

Judging on recent news headlines alone, it is clear that the momentum behind electro-mobility is growing.

With the announcements by countries like France, China and the UK setting timelines for the end of the internal combustion engine and automakers including Volvo, Volkswagen and Jaguar Land Rover pledging to offer electric or hybrid versions across their whole model ranges, the transition has certainly begun.

What some may not have noticed is that global companies, too, are going “all in” for electro‑mobility, transitioning their fleets to electric vehicles and offering charging stations to staff and customers.

Keeping in mind that transport is one of the largest and fastest growing sources of GHG emissions – as well as a major source of the air pollution that is becoming an increasing health concern in cities around the world – their leadership is a key determinant of how far and how quickly we can make electric transport the new normal.

At The Climate Group, our mission is to speed up climate action. We work to drive the pace, scale and ambition of climate initiatives to limit warming to well below 2°C and ensure a prosperous future for all. We do this by working with leading businesses and sub‑national governments globally, supporting them to commit to our low carbon initiatives and then turn those commitments into action.

A campaign for action

At Climate Week NYC (18-24 September), we launched a corporate leadership initiative called EV100 – the only initiative of its kind to encourage global businesses to make commitments on electric transport. By using companies’ collective global buying power and influence to build demand and cut costs, EV100 aims to speed the transition to electric vehicles across the world.

The first ten members to join the new campaign include Baidu, Deutsche Post DHL Group, Heathrow Airport, HP, IKEA Group, LeasePlan, METRO AG, PG&E Corporation, Unilever and Vattenfall. 

Joiners make a public commitment to transition their vehicle use to EVs and/or roll-out charging infrastructure for their staff and customers at all relevant premises by 2030. By setting out their future EV purchasing requirements on an ambitions timescale, these big purchasers can drive mass roll-out, reduce costs, and make electric cars more affordable for everyone around the world at a much faster pace.

Since businesses operate a large portion of all registered vehicles on the road, companies who commit to EV100 are signing up to deliver the sustainable future that is in all of our interests, positioning themselves as the frontrunners that will shape a crucial future market at the same time. In addition, EV100 also offers members a collaborative platform to jointly engage with policy makers and other stakeholders to actively address the remaining barriers.

The business case

For EV100 companies, the business case to encourage the switch to EV is clear. Especially for fleets with high usage rates, total cost of ownership for EVs can already be significantly lower due to savings on fuel, maintenance and repair.

Our members are also future-proofing their businesses against a growing body of international and domestic climate and air quality initiatives by ensuring that their operations are well ahead of the low‑carbon curve. They are also meeting the expectations of their staff who we have found are increasingly expectant of their employers to help them act on their own individual convictions about climate change.

Through their pledges, members of the campaign are sending a strong market signal that there will be mass demand for electric vehicles by 2030, or before. This sets the automotive industry a compelling challenge to deliver more EVs sooner and at a lower cost, as well as to policy makers to keep developing favourable regulatory conditions.

An electric commitment

LeasePlan’s CEO Tex Gunning said: “Electric vehicles are what’s next. We’re therefore delighted to become a founding partner of the EV100 initiative and to work with some of the world’s largest companies on speeding up and facilitating the switch to electric mobility. Together, we can have a significant impact: over half the cars on the road today belong to companies.

“We’re also very proud to announce that LeasePlan’s own employee fleet will be going electric, making us the first major leasing company to make the switch. Our ambition is to have all our employees driving electric cars by 2021. We encourage other companies to do the same: making the transition to an electric fleet is one of the easiest ways for businesses to lower their emissions and to help tackle climate change.”

IKEA’s Pia Heidenmark Cook said: “IKEA Group wants to show that a transition to electric vehicles is possible, bringing benefits for both the global climate and the local environment around our stores.

That’s why we are excited to join EV100 as founding members, and accelerate the change towards more sustainable transportation.”

Wang Lu, Vice President at Baidu, said: “We are delighted to be the first Chinese
company to join EV100. As one of the world’s leading IT companies, we are inspired to create a better future for all through technology innovation, and are committed to sustainability across our business operations. We have already
made significant progress in promoting low carbon electromobility. We hope that other Chinese companies will follow our lead.”

Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E, and ambassador for the EV100 campaign added: “This is going to be as or more important than the digital revolution.”

For EV100 members, the electric future is already underway and the business community is taking the initiative to drive the transition.

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