EV100: Top firms sign up to The Climate Group’s platform to accelerate EV shift

Multinational firms including Ikea, HP and Unilever are among the first 10 members of a new initiative launched by The Climate Group which aims to make electric vehicles (EVs) "the new normal" by 2030.

Among the key commitments made by the first EV100 members includes a pledge to integrate EVs directly into owned or leased corporate fleets, by ensuring that all vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes are EVs by 2030. Some members have also pledged to support EV uptake by customers and staff by installing workplace charging infrastructure and delivering engagement programmes.

The Climate Group’s chief executive Helen Clarkson insists that EV100 will use its members’ collective global buying power and influence to reduce costs and deliver a strong market signal that there is a mass demand for EVs before 2030, ahead of current forecasts for global uptake.

“We want to make electric transport the new normal,” Clarkson said at a launch event in New York at Climate Week. “There are two fundamental problems to be addressed. Transport is still the fastest growing area of carbon emissions, as the shift to EVs is not happening fast enough; and mass system change, even with government intervention, needs much greater customer demand.”

She added: “The members being announced today see the business logic in leading a faster transition and addressing local air quality issues in their markets. They are setting a competitive challenge to the auto industry to deliver more EVs, sooner and at lower cost.”

EV transition

Other founding participants of the EV100 platform include Deutsche Post DHL Group, Heathrow Airport, LeasePlan and Vattenfall. Some of these firms have pledged to place requirements in service contracts for EV usage by 2030.

EV100 is the latest global scheme launched by The Climate Group bringing together global businesses to enhance corporate climate action. The Group is targeting 500 members for the RE100 initiative – which encourages firms to power their global operations with 100% renewable energy – by 2020, after passing the 100-member milestone in July 2017.

IKEA’s acting chief sustainability officer Pia Heidenmark-Cook said the EV100 initiative presents an exciting opportunity to help the retailer accelerate towards more sustainable transportation.

“IKEA Group wants to show that a transition to EVs is possible, bringing benefits for both the global climate and the local environment around our stores,” Heidenmark-Cook said.

Driving change

The new platform demonstrates ramped up efforts from the business community to reduce global transport emissions by switching to EV portfolios. Just last week German vehicle manufacturer Volkswagen (VW) announced that every vehicle in its model portfolio will have an electric version on sale to customers by 2030.

This came after Uber announced it was adding a 35p green fee charge to all rides in London to facilitate a £150m funding pot that enables all drivers to transition to electric vehicles by 2022. Uber’s announcement arrived just days after Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) announced that from 2020 all new vehicle models will be electric.

That pledge arrived two months after Swedish car manufacturer Volvo issued a similar pledge to ensure that every new vehicle from 2019 onwards will have an electric motor.

George Ogleby

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