AstraZeneca, BT and Unilever have a couple of things in common.
As well as being household names, they’ve all made a pledge to fully electrify their company fleets by 2030.
They’re three of more than 50 international companies that have joined the EV100 initiative established by the international non-profit Climate Group.
Their ambitions reflect a broader trend. In a survey of UK fleet managers carried out by Geotab last year, 89% of respondents believed electric vehicles would become the dominant technology in their fleets within the decade.
With almost 60% of new vehicles in the UK registered to business, companies have a huge opportunity to drive the transition to cleaner, healthier mobility through their own operations. EV100 provides a global platform to showcase this leadership and share international best practices, and we report on the progress year on year.
THE CASE FOR EVs IS GROWING
The time for going electric is right. A recent report from IHS Markit forecasts electric car models will triple in Europe by 2021, and with rapidly improving battery technologies, ranges are expanding, and prices are coming down.
With public pressure to address air pollution and climate change rising, over a dozen countries around the world have already set phase-out dates for internal-combustion-engine vehicles by 2040, 2030 or even earlier. Cities such as London, Los Angeles, Paris and Santiago are all working to establish zero-emission zones to improve air quality. We are starting to see the landscape shifting and should expect support to be on the rise.
Those switching to clean fleets are getting ahead of the curve and future-proofing their business against regulatory pressures and costly air pollution charges.
The economic case is rapidly growing as well. Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts price parity between EVs and their internal-combustion equivalents in Europe from as early as 2022. Already, EVs are often cheaper when considering the total cost of ownership (TCO). As an example, DPDHL has already saved 60-70% on fuel costs and 60-80% on maintenance and repair since switching to StreetScooter EVs.
“The shift to electric vehicles is exciting, inevitable and is happening right now”
Companies are also reaping the reputational benefits. By providing EVs and making them easy to charge at the workplace, companies such as HP Inc are sending out a positive message as values-driven employers, while Ingka Group (IKEA) is increasing its competitiveness by allowing customers access to charging facilities.
This is especially true for vehicles with high utilisation rates, because higher upfront costs are balanced out by substantial savings on fuel, maintenance and repairs. Government incentives such as the recently announced exemption from benefit-in-kind tax for electric company cars in the UK further improve the cost benefits.
BUSINESS LEADERS CAN SHAPE THE MARKET
While the momentum for electrification is clearly growing, work still needs to be done to address the remaining barriers, such as further expansion of charging infrastructure and increasing vehicle supply.
By coming together as a collective voice through The Climate Group, EV100 members can both learn from each other and help shape positive market conditions. In publicly setting out their ambitions, these businesses send a clear signal to governments and manufacturers to increase their investments in line with the accelerating demand.
The shift to EV is exciting, inevitable and it is happening right now. The available technology means that we are already ready to make the switch, and that’s why we need such companies to step up and show the way forward.
We’re proud that EV100 is energising demand for EVs and accelerating the market. With business in the lead, we are making the transition quicker and easier for all.
Head of the global electric vehicles initiative EV100 at The Climate Group