Big names including Amazon and Ikea spearhead new corporate EV alliance

A new alliance aimed at helping businesses to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) is being spearheaded by some of the world's most recognisable corporates, including Amazon, Ikea and Siemens.

Big names including Amazon and Ikea spearhead new corporate EV alliance

The Alliance will support the electrification of transport and logistics fleets across North America 

Convened by Ceres, the new Corporate Electric Vehicle alliance will help member businesses to meet their own EV targets, enabling them to decarbonise their transport while giving other companies best-practice examples to follow.

It will also aggregate corporate demand for EVs and use this information to urge automakers to produce a more diverse array of models for businesses; and governments, utilities and local authorities to invest in EV-related infrastructure such as charging points.

“The EV market is advancing, but not fast enough to meet the needs of every company,” Ceres said in a statement.

“Automakers are not producing the necessary range of light-, medium-, and heavy-duty EV models at the economies of scale many fleet operators need. There are also opportunities for an improved state and federal policy landscape to accelerate development and deployment of EVs and infrastructure at scale.”

As a starting point, the Alliance will operate solely in North America. Ceres has partnered with The Climate Group, which runs its EV100 initiative globally, to improve co-ordination between companies themselves and the two wider initiatives. EV100 describes itself as an “engagement partner” to the Alliance.

The first corporate members of the Alliance are Amazon, AT&T, Clif Bar, Consumers Energy, DHL, Direct Energy, Genentech, IKEA North America, LeasePlan, Lime, and Siemens. In addition to support from Ceres on their own targets and the broader infrastructure and policy pieces, participating companies will be able to share information on a pre-competitive basis.

“Many companies understand the myriad benefits of fleet electrification, but they’re lacking a supportive alliance of like-minded peers committed to sharing best practices and collaborating to move the market,” Ceres’ senior manager of clean vehicles Sara Forni said.

“The Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance is filling that gap, and powering companies forward into the low-carbon future.”

Member pledges

All corporates participating in the alliance have set time-bound numerical fleet electrification targets, except Lime, whose business model itself is dependent on promoting e-mobility.

As part of its commitment to make half of its shipments carbon-neutral by 2030, Amazon is purchasing 100,000 Rivian electric delivery vans for its US fleet alone. In other locations, it is investing in technologies such as electric rickshaws, low-carbon maritime and aviation technologies.

Other Alliance members, including Ikea and Leaseplan, have already committed to 100% fleet electrification under EV100. Leaseplan has set a 2030 deadline, while Ikea will electrify its home delivery fleet in five cities by the end of 2020 as it strives to reach 100% by 2025. Ikea’s global target for 2030 is to halve emissions from employee and customer travel by 2030.

The EV 100’s latest progress report revealed that corporate demands for fleet electrification were beginning to outpace investment in charging infrastructure – even if demands beyond the initiative’s members were not taken into account.

Sarah George

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