EV100 members are sending a strong demand signal for a more diverse EV market
Sandra Roling, director of transport at the Climate Group looks at how collaboration between businesses can help spur demand for low-carbon solutions to drive progess towards decarbonisation goals.
Our EV100 initiative represents 123 businesses, all committed to switching their fleets to electric by 2030. From insurance to energy companies; construction to tech, EV100 represents a huge range of business sectors. But with such a variety of fleet types needed, access to a broad choice of EVs is crucial to enable all businesses to transition their fleets to electric with confidence.
However, in our latest Progress and Insights Report, our members reported that alongside upfront costs and a lack of charging infrastructure, a lack of variety of EV choice is a key barrier to further EV adoption. Whilst the number of vehicles purchased each year has more than trebled in the past two years to hit 6.6 million in 2021, manufacturers need to step up and offer a wider range of EVs, so that businesses can confidently transition all vehicles in their fleet to electric.
EV100 members Christchurch Airport, Iron Mountain and Aviva are already leading the way within their sectors. However, each face a unique set of challenges in acquiring the right EVs for their business need.
Christchurch International Airport
Christchurch Airport, based on New Zealand’s South Island, welcomes more than six million passengers every year. In June 2018, the airport became the first business on the South Island to sign up to EV100. As a hub for multiple transport connections including public transport, taxis, busses and freight, airports play a huge role in showcasing the practicalities of EVs within a wide transport network.
In 2017, the airport transitioned its entire commercial vehicle fleet to electric and plans on transitioning 100% of its light vehicle fleet run on electricity by 2025. With fleets contributing around 10% of scope 1 emissions, these EVs, which are used for getting staff to meetings offsite and around campus, are helping to cut these emissions and improve efficiency.
Since the success of transitioning its commercial fleets, Christchurch Airport are now looking to expand their EV transition across other operations:
- Utility vehicles –these vehicles have specific uses, including wildlife management, ground transport, airside maintenance and Christchurch Airport have plans to electrify them within the next 3 – 4 years
- Airport fire service – a fire truck fleet to respond to emergencies. Christchurch Airport hopes to electrify their fire truck once it has become commercially available
“There has been some great leadership in the transition to light electric vehicles but now that we are looking to decarbonise other areas of fleet, including utility vehicles and freight, we have found that sourcing these vehicles is the main challenge to moving to electric. Electric utility vehicles don’t yet exist in the NZ market, though we have put down deposits on some to arrive late this year/early next year. With the fire truck, this is still in technical development, so again not commercially available yet”. Claire Waghorn, Sustainable Transition Leader, Christchurch Airport
Iron Mountain is a global leader for storage and information management services, headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. With a fleet of over 5,000 vehicles, Iron Mountain has committed to transitioning 10% of its total fleet to electric by 2025. As part of EV100, Iron Mountain has committed to transitioning 100% of company cars and 50% of vans to EVs by 2030, being driven forward by its cross functional steering committee.
Iron Mountain operates in over 50 countries globally, and has various fleet sizes in each country. With its biggest fleet in North America, Iron Mountain have learnt how to adapt its EV procurement strategy within the different regions it operates:
“We started our electrification journey a year and a half ago, and one of the biggest challenges for us, was figuring out what strategy works best where, to accommodate to all the markets we operate as each region has a completely different set of EVs available. Geography also plays a key role because our operational needs differ hugely between regions – in some regions we need bigger vans because they make longer trips, but these kind of vehicles aren’t always available where needed. As an organisation, electrifying our global fleet is critical to our journey to reach our Climate Pledge commitments and to achieve Net Zero Carbon Emissions by 2040. This is why we are working hard to focus on the markets where it is possible for us to electrify our cars and vans now. We look forward to doing the same with our trucks in the near future, when the technology becomes available to us”.
Now, Iron Mountain are launching their first program in London of 12 different types of cars to service its customers. This will also be the first depot of chargers and vans which are also supported by solar charging at that location. After London, it will be launching EV vans in North America and additional locations around Europe such as Poland and Germany.
Aviva is the UK’s leading Insurance, Wealth & Retirement business and operates in the UK, Ireland and Canada, with international investments in Singapore, China and India.
In 2021, Aviva announced plans to become a net zero carbon emissions company by 2040 – the first major insurance company in the world to do so. This plan means net zero carbon emissions from investments by 2040; setting out a clear pathway to get there with a cut of 25% in the carbon intensity of its investments by 2025 and of 60% by 2030; and net zero carbon emissions from its own operations and supply chain by 2030.
As part of this, Aviva have committed that by 2025, they will use 100% renewable electricity for all their offices, and new company car leases in the UK, Ireland and Canada will be delivered through plug-in hybrid or electric vehicles. In December 2021, Aviva launched its electric vehicle salary sacrifice scheme, giving UK colleagues the opportunity to drive a fully electric EV for a two or three year period.
“We’ve adapted our employee electric vehicle fleet approaches for the UK, Ireland and Canada based on different factors – for example, extreme cold in Canada impacts the mileage range of batteries. We’ve found that some drivers are concerned about battery range and charge times, and there’s a long lead time on vehicles due to a semi-conductor manufacturing shortage. So we’re tailoring what vehicles we offer our employees in our different markets. For example, in the UK, we’re phasing out self-charging hybrid vehicles to plug-in hybrid or battery electric vehicles from 2023, in Ireland we’ll just offer battery electric vehicles from 2022, and in Canada there will be a mix of self-charging and plug-in hybrid until options improve. We’re really keen that our vehicles support our environmental ambitions.” Nick Amin, Chief Operating Officer, Aviva.
As EV100 members ramp up their ambition and look towards finding electric solutions for a wider range of vehicle types, it is clear that much more needs to be done now to improve technology and supply of EVs in the commercial market. Bridging this gap is crucial if we are to make electric transport the new normal by 2030.
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