In EV100 initiative, 31 companies join drive to switch to electric vehicles

The Climate Group EV 100
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More than 30 global corporates have pledged to switch their road fleets to electric vehicles through the EV100 initiative, which has set a target of electrifying 2 million vehicles by 2030 through its membership.

Published this weekend, the Climate Group's first report on its EV100 initiative reveals 31 companies with a combined revenue of over $500 billion have made EV commitments as part of the campaign, including high profile names such as BT, IKEA, Unilever, EDF and Heathrow Airport.

The report provides a detailed update on the commitments made by 23 member companies, which have together pledged to switch 145,000 vehicles to electric in 66 markets around the world by 2030.

Collectively, the EV commitments from these 23 firms could help to save an estimated 6.6 million metric tons of CO2, the equivalent carbon footprint of 1.9 million U.K. households, according to the report.

Of these members, 95 percent cited greenhouse gas reduction as a "very significant" or "significant" driver for switching to EVs, and 80 percent highlighted tackling air pollution as a key reason. A third also identified financial savings as an incentive for investing in EVs.

However, over 70 percent of EV100 members also identified a lack of EV charging infrastructure as one of the biggest barriers to increased electric vehicle adoption.

[node:field-gbz-pull-quote:0]Nevertheless, the report states that collectively EV100 member companies have made commitments that will give access to EV charging to over 630,000 of their employees by 2030.

Helen Clarkson, CEO of the Climate Group, said the report showed how leading corporates are helping to accelerate the wider market shift to electric transport by 2030.

"With countries pledging to end sales of the combustion engine and cities bringing in low or zero emission zones, forward-thinking companies are getting ahead of the curve now by switching to electric vehicles," she said. "The private sector has an instrumental part to play in bringing down emissions and cleaning up our air — and there are big opportunities for companies taking action now here in the U.K."

The global shift to EVs is rapidly accelerating, with the total number on the world's roads surpassing 3 million worldwide in 2017, an expansion of over 50 percent since 2016. Meanwhile, recent studies have forecasted EVs could reach cost parity with fossil fuel cars globally on a total cost of ownership basis by 2022, as battery costs continue to drop.

Provisional data in the report suggests 70,000 vehicles are being transitioned to electric by companies which have joined EV100 since September.

For example, fleet management firm and EV100 member LeasePlan has pledged to achieve net zero emissions from its customer fleet — which currently amounts to 1.8 million vehicles — by 2030, and is developing an offering to help its customers transition to EVs, as well as electrifying its own employee fleet by 2021.

Tex Gunning, CEO at LeasePlan, said that with 1.8 million cars on the road the firm "has a responsibility to do everything we can to support the development of a more sustainable transport system."

"Our aim is to help create healthier environments in our towns and cities by promoting cleaner, low-emission vehicles and the infrastructure required to make these cars a viable option for our customers," he said. "I encourage business leaders around the world to make the switch to electric vehicles. This is one of the simplest things we can all do to help tackle climate change."

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