Multinationals boost climate action with switch to electric cars

Multinationals launch global program to speed up switch to electric vehicles
Multinationals launch global program to speed up switch to electric vehicles

A new business campaign designed to fast-track the uptake of electric vehicles (EV) and infrastructure has been launched by The Climate Group at a unique event in New York today, as business and government leaders gather at Climate Week NYC.

Baidu, Deutsche Post DHL Group, Heathrow Airport, HP Inc., IKEA Group, LeasePlan, METRO AG, PG&E, Unilever, Vattenfall are the 10 first members of EV100, the only initiative of its kind to encourage global  business commitments on electric transport, with members swapping their large diesel/petrol vehicle fleets to electric vehicle fleets and/or installing electric battery charging infrastructure by 2030.

Helen Clarkson, CEO, The Climate Group, said:  “We want to make electric transport the new normal. There are two fundamental problems to be addressed. Transport is still the fastest growing area of carbon emissions, as the shift to electric vehicles is not happening fast enough; and mass system change, even with Government intervention, needs much greater customer demand.

“EV100 will use companies’ collective global buying power and influence on employees and customers to build demand and cut costs. 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.”

Together, EV100 members will send a strong market signal that there is mass demand for electric vehicles by 2030 or before, well ahead of current forecasts for global uptake. By setting out their future EV purchasing requirements on an ambitions timescale, these big purchasers can drive mass roll-out, reduce costs, and make electric cars more rapidly affordable for everyone around the world.

Pia Heidenmark-Cook, Acting CSO, IKEA Group, said: “IKEA Group wants to show that a transition to electric vehicles is possible, bringing benefits for both the global climate and the local environment around our stores. That’s why we are excited to join EV100 as founding members, and accelerate the change towards more sustainable transportation.”

Reflecting China’s role as a global leader on climate action, and the world’s largest car market, the Chinese tech giant Baidu is joining EV100 and urging other Chinese companies to follow suit. Baidu is also a world leader in the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI), and is developing future autonomous EV technology across the industry.

Wang Lu, Vice President, Baidu said: “We are delighted to be the first Chinese company to join EV100. As one of the world’s leading IT companies, we are inspired to create a better future for all through technology innovation, and are committed to sustainability across our business operations. We have already made significant progress in promoting low carbon electromobility. We hope that other Chinese companies will follow our lead.”

International leasing company LeasePlan is committing to transition its own fleets as well as those of its customers as part of its ambition to achieve net zero emissions from the corporate automotive sector by 2030.

The Climate Group is a member of the We Mean Business coalition of nonprofits working with global businesses to take action on climate change. EV100 will be one of the We Mean Business coalition’s suite of commitments that together enable further, faster corporate action on climate change.