During Climate Week NYC, international nonprofit The Climate Group, a member of the We Mean Business coalition of nonprofits working with global businesses to take action on climate change, announced the launch of a new business campaign designed to fast-track the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) and infrastructure.
The only initiative of its kind to encourage global business commitments on electric transport, the EV100 will see members transitioning their large diesel and petrol vehicle fleets to electric vehicle fleets and/or installing electric battery charging infrastructure by 2030. Baidu, Deutsche Post DHL Group, Heathrow Airport, HP Inc., IKEA Group, LeasePlan, METRO AG, PG&E, Unilever and Vattenfall are the first companies to join the EV100.
“We want to make electric transport the new normal,” said Helen Clarkson, CEO of The Climate Group. “There are two fundamental problems to be addressed. Transport is still the fastest growing area of carbon emissions, as the shift to electric vehicles is not happening fast enough, and mass system change, even with government intervention, needs much greater customer demand.”
“The end of the international combustion engine is inevitable. Companies committed to EV100 send a powerful signal that adds to the chorus from states, cities and car makers that the transition to 100 percent electric vehicles will happen much faster than many had anticipated just a few years ago,” said Nigel Topping, CEO of We Mean Business.
EV100 will use companies’ collective global buying power and influence on employees and customers to build demand and cut costs. Together, members will send a strong market signal that there is mass demand for electric vehicles by 2030. By setting out their future EV purchasing requirements on an ambitious timescale, members can accelerate mass roll-out, reduce costs and make electric cars more rapidly affordable.
By joining the initiative, businesses are highlighting the business logic of leading a faster transition and addressing local air quality issues in their markets. Beyond helping companies deliver on their sustainability goals, driving the uptake of electric transport is expected to generate long-term savings while increasing competitiveness and helping future-proof operations.
“LeasePlan is delighted to be a founding member of EV100 and proud to announce today that its own employee fleet will be going electric, making us the first major leasing company to make the switch,” said Tex Gunning, CEO of LeasePlan. “Our ambition is for all employees to be driving electric cars by 2021. Over half the cars on the road today belong to companies. Making the transition to an electric fleet is one of the easiest ways for businesses to help tackle climate change.”
Companies joining EV100 make a public commitment to fast-track EV uptake in one or more of the following four commitment areas by 2030:
- Integrating electric vehicles directly into owned or leased corporate fleets
- Placing requirements in service contracts for electric vehicle usage
- Supporting staff to use electric vehicles by installing workplace charging infrastructure
- Supporting electric vehicle uptake by customers by installing customer charging infrastructure
Founding members have already begun to share the details of their EV100 commitments. HP Inc. has said it will expand its workplace charging scheme internationally, while US utility PG&E — which has already heavily invested in EVs both for its customers and in its own operations — has committed to expand its engagement on both staff and customer charging. German retailer METRO AG has also committed to support EV charging for its staff and consumers and Unilever and Heathrow Airport have pledged comprehensive action as part of their corporate sustainability plans.
Deutsche Post DHL Group and the Swedish power company Vattenfall plan to build upon their already ambitious electro-mobility targets. Vattenfall is working to transition its corporate fleet to EVs over the next five years while Deutsche Post DHL Group has invested in its own vehicle manufacturer StreetScooter to supply specialized postal vans for its operations.
The Climate Group has also partnered with Formula E, issues-oriented advocacy platform VICE Impact and integrated creative agency Spring Studios to demonstrate the need for faster action, greater impact and convergence across all sectors in addressing climate change.
“EV100, along with RE100 and EP100, is shaping the global response to climate change. It captures the profound shift in pioneering companies’ investment and long term strategies away from fossil fuels and towards electrification and alternative sources of energy. There is an environmental reality, but there is a case for hope in the age of genuine business sustainability,” said Katherine Keating, Publisher at VICE Impact.