EV100: Businesses doubled electric vehicle roll-outs in 2020

Businesses involved in The Climate Group's EV100 initiative have collectively rolled out more than 169,000 electric vehicles (EVs), with 89,000 having been rolled out in 2020 alone.

Pictured: Electric delivery vans operated by EV100 member Swiss & Austrian Post

Pictured: Electric delivery vans operated by EV100 member Swiss & Austrian Post

That is according to the organisation’s second annual progress report on EV100, published today (17 February).

The report reveals that 101 businesses are now members of EV100. The scheme’s aim is to help make zero-emission transport "the new normal" by 2030 and most businesses commit to delivering fully electric fleets. Big-name supporters include Unilever, Sky, Coca-Cola European Partners, BT and Ikea.

Collectively, these companies have deployed 169,000 EVs to date, with more than half of vehicle deployments having taken place during 2020. The Climate Group has forecasted that, if all members fulfil their commitments, they will collectively roll-out more than 4.8 million EVs by the end of the decade.

Member companies have also been ramping up ambitions and actions regarding clean energy sourcing and charging infrastructure to power their new EVs. The report reveals that more than half of EV100 members are using 100% renewable electricity for charging, procured either through a tariff, a power purchase agreement (PPA) or by onsite generation.

Moreover, member firms have collectively pledged to install 6,500 new charging locations by 2030. Less than half of this number had been confirmed as of the end of 2019. Some 2,100 of these charging locations have already been installed, totalling 16,900 individual chargers.

“Corporate uptake of electric vehicles is on a roll; despite the uncertainty of 2020, the business community has made remarkable progress in transitioning its fleets,” the Climate Group’s head of transport Sandra Rolling said.

“With the UN climate conference COP26 due in Glasgow at the end of the year, 2021 is the year of climate action. We need businesses to lead from the front.”

Rolling highlighted the fact that most EV100 members have either continued with their fleet electrification plans as usual amid the backdrop of Covid-19, or accelerated delivery timelines. Companies to have joined EV100 during 2020 include Severn Trent, Dixons Carphone, OVO Energy and Tarmac.

Charging ahead

The uptick in EV adoption has been clear to see among individual motorists as well as businesses since Covid-19 was declared a global pandemic. Data published by the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) last month revealed that pure EVs accounted for 6.5% of all new cars registered in the UK in 2020, up from 1.5% in 2019. Similar trends have been observed in markets including Norway.

As with last year’s EV100 report, however, The Climate Group has found recurring challenges regarding EV procurement and charging infrastructure, which could affect progress without targeted support from policymakers and the private sector.

On procurement, the report reveals how many EV100 members are having difficulty procuring electric heavy-duty vehicles. Either automakers are not producing them, or the business case does not stack up, as they often bear high upfront costs.

On infrastructure, a recent Policy Exchange briefing outlined how 35,000 charging points will need to be installed annually in the UK to support the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel cars. In comparison, just 7,000 were installed in 2019. EV100 is present in some 80 markets and many members have reported similar challenges abroad.

Sarah George


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