EV100: Corporate demand for green fleets now outstripping charging infrastructure improvements

More than 30 big-name companies have pledged to electrify their fleets under the Climate Group's EV100 initiative since 2017, with corporate demand for low-carbon transport beginning to outstrip charging infrastructure provisions, a new report from the non-profit has concluded.

The Climate Group is aiming to electrify two million vehicles by 2030 under the scheme

The Climate Group is aiming to electrify two million vehicles by 2030 under the scheme

Published today (4 February), the Climate Group’s first EV100 annual progress report reveals that 31 companies have now joined the initiative, committing to help make zero-emission transport "the new normal" by 2030. 

Some of the companies to have joined the initiative are targeting 100% zero-emission transport by 2030, while others have pledged to electrify all last-mile deliveries or help all staff make the electric vehicle (EV) switch with their personal or business vehicle.

In total, EV100 has spurred the adoption of 10,000 low-carbon vehicles to date and is now targeting two million vehicles by 2030.

The coalition of companies, which includes the likes of BT, Ikea and Unilever, have collectively pledged to electrify more than 145,000 vehicles by 2030, according to the report, with the majority prioritising their city-based fleets in a bid to reduce air pollution.

82% of  EV100 members are already charging their electric vehicle (EV) fleets with 100% renewable power, the document notes.

The report places a specific focus on the 23 companies which joined the initiative before or during autumn 2018. Collectively, the commitments from these firms will mitigate the emission of 6.6 million metric tonnes of CO2 each year, a figure the Climate Group Claims is equivalent to that emitted by 1.9 million UK households annually.

“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 EVs,” the Climate Group’s chief executive Helen Clarkson 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.”

Taking charge

During its research for the report, the Climate Group also asked EV100 members what the key barriers to EV adoption for their organisations would be between now and 2030. Seven out of ten respondents cited a lack of charging infrastructure as their biggest concern, with the upfront cost of EVs cited as the second most common challenge.

These conclusions echo the findings of a recent PwC study, which found that the UK’s EV stock has almost doubled each year between 2011 and 20117, despite a compound annual growth rate of just 44% for charging infrastructure installations during this period.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has identified a lack of charging infrastructure as one of the three biggest barriers to EV adoption in the UK, along with distance travelled per charge and vehicle cost. 

Similarly, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (Bloomberg NEF) predicts that EVs will account for more than half of new car sales by 2040, but that the pace of the shift away from petrol and diesel could be hindered by far slower investment growth in infrastructure.

In a bid to close the gap between EV demand and charging provisions, EV100 members have collectively pledged to make public or work-based charging points available to 630,000 staff over the next decade.

Among them is EDF Group, which has committed to installing 75,000 charging points for public and staff use and a further 250,000 for customer use by 2022. The company has notably moved to include progress on its EV ambitions as one of its credit line indexers.

The EV100 report additionally documents the key drivers of corporate EV adoption, with reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions cited as the most important factor, followed by a desire to lead the EV transition and gain a reputation for being forward-thinking in this field.

Despite the fact that battery pack prices have fallen by 83% since 2013, according to the Climate Group, the least-cited benefit of EV adoption was potential cost savings. This finding comes shortly after research from Deloitte found that pure-electric vehicles are likely to be as cheap to own and operate as their petrol and diesel equivalents on a worldwide basis by as early as 2022.

Sarah George  



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