A new corporate advocacy group for electric vehicles, led by climate action accelerator Ceres, has announced the addition of more big names to its line up of companies wanting to commit to fleet electrification.
Amazon, Ikea North America, AT&T, DHL, and Siemens are just some of the big names signing on to join the new Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance, as well as organic snack maker Clif Bar, e-bike and e-scooter company Lime, Michigan public utility Consumers Energy, LeasePlan and biotech corporation Genetech.
Along with assisting the member companies with making and following through on commitments to decarbonisation of fleets via uptake of electric vehicles (EVs), the group hopes to convince automakers of a broad demand for electric vehicles in the commercial sector.
“The climate crisis demands we decarbonize transportation — the highest-emitting sector in the U.S. — and electric vehicles are an essential component of this transition,” said Ceres’ VP of Climate and Energy Sue Reid in a statement.
“With companies controlling more than half the vehicles on the road in the U.S. today, they have a tremendous role to play in leading the transition to electric vehicles – both in terms of electrifying their own fleets and in leveraging their buying power to send a strong market signal to automakers and policymakers alike. The Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance is where the rubber hits the road.”
The business case for corporates to make the transition to electric vehicles is not just one of reducing climate impact to ensure a a healthy global economy. As Ceres notes, electric vehicles also offer significant cost reductions on maintenance and fuel, and free companies from petrol and diesel price fluctuations.
“Many companies understand the myriad benefits of fleet electrification, but they’re lacking a supportive alliance of like-minded peers committed to sharing best practices and collaborating to move the market,” said Sara Forni, senior manager of clean vehicles at Ceres, in a statement.
“The Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance is filling that gap, and powering companies forward into the low-carbon future.”
The alliance also intends to highlight the need for the auto market to accelerate development of a broader range of electric vehicles to service varied needs of companies.
Amongst the companies leading the push to electrification of fleets are some of the largest fleets in the US, some of whom have already begun their transition to electric mobility.
In September 2019 online retail giant Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos called upon other companies to make a “Climate Pledge”, coinciding with the widespread international climate strikes demanding urgent and effective action be taken to reduce the effects of human-driven climate change.
“As part of The Climate Pledge, which includes the purchase of 100,000 Rivian electric delivery vans and a commitment to deliver 50% of shipments with net zero carbon by 2030, we are pursuing the highest standards in transportation sustainability. But we can’t get there alone,” said Kara Hurst, head of worldwide sustainability at Amazon in a statement.
“We’re looking forward to working with fellow Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance members to share best practices to remove carbon emissions from our transportation business.”
Home furnishings giant Ikea has also started its journey to electrification with a global commitment of 100% electric delivery vehicles by 2025.
”We have a commitment to use electric vehicles for all of our in-home furniture deliveries by 2025, and we know that we’ll need to collaborate with our partners to make it happen,” said Steven Moelk, project implementation manager, zero emission delivery for Ikea in the US.
“We’re excited to team up with like-minded companies and work together toward an improved electric vehicle market and supportive policies through the Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance.”
AT&T was listed by FleetOwner500 as the single largest private fleet in the US in 2019 with almost 67,000 vehicles.
“AT&T is committed to reducing our own greenhouse gas emissions and supporting broader climate action,” said Charles Herget, assistant VP for global environmental sustainability for AT&T.
“To help advance climate solutions, like vehicle electrification, it is critical to take part in collaborative efforts like The Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance. We look forward to working with other companies and EV leaders to make progress on this topic.”
German-based industrial conglomerate Siemens also expressed enthusiasm about joining the consortium, although the shine is somewhat tarnished by the global major’s decision to follow through on a contract with the controversial Adani coal mine in Australia.
“Given our corporate commitment to being carbon neutral by 2030, electrifying our fleet is an essential step,” said John DeBoer, head of Siemens eMobility and future grid business unit in the US.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.