AGL Energy is set to transition its 400-strong company vehicle fleet to electric vehicles by 2030, and has become the first Australian company to sign on to the global EV100 initiative, which encourages businesses to shift to electric vehicles.
AGL chief operating officer Markus Brokhof says the switch to all electric vehicles would contribute to AGL’s target of achieving zero net emissions by 2050. By sourcing the electricity used to charge the vehicles from renewable energy sources, AGL can make significant reductions to the amount of emissions caused by its transport operations.
“As part of our Climate Statement we have set a target to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. We know in order to meet this commitment, we need to be investing in smart and clean technologies,” Brokhof says.
“EVs present a simple and effective solution as part of a cleaner energy future, with the transportation sector currently responsible for up to 19% of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.”
AGL Energy will become the first Australian company to join the EV100 initiative, which has already secured commitments from major international companies, including Ikea, Unilever, P&G, Air New Zealand, EDF and Bank of America.
“Their commitment demonstrates the continued growth of the campaign into new markets, helping to grow demand and accelerate the EV transition around the world,” The Climate Group’s corporate partnerships director, Mike Peirce, said.
“We call on other Australian companies to follow AGL’s leadership and commit to EV100.”
The Climate Group has argued that there are a number of business benefits from committing to purchasing electric vehicles, including greater customer engagement for retail businesses that offer charging services and reduced operating and maintenance costs for fleet operators.
An analysis undertaken by ClimateWorks found that in many cases, a shift to electric vehicle for fleets can be cheaper overall compared to petrol fleets, as the operational and maintenance savings outweigh any added costs to acquire the vehicles.
“The market fundamentals for EVs continue to grow and an initiative like this presents a big opportunity for industries to take the lead in helping to reduce Australia’s carbon footprint,” Brokhoff said.
Under the EV100 initiative, more than 80 companies have committed to shifting more than 4.7 million combined fleet vehicles to electric models by 2030, with companies making additional commitments to install charging infrastructure across business locations.
Currently, around 10 per cent of AGL’s current vehicle fleet are electric models, and the company will target further reductions to its corporate emissions footprint through the commitment to electric vehicles and operate a 100 per cent EV fleet by 2030.
“It is the right time to transition our fleet to help reduce our own emissions, as well the subsequent noise and air pollution,” Brokhof added.
“EV technology and manufacturing are at a point where the vehicles themselves are no longer just for early adopters, and we will begin to see prices fall into line with that of petrol/diesel equivalent vehicles.”
“AGL’s commitment under EV100 is part of our growth strategy and our commitment to embrace innovation and technology to ensure we are not only achieving the best solutions for the environment but also for our employees, customers and shareholders.”
The EV100 initiative has been modelled on the successful RE100 initiative, also stated by The Climate Group, which sees corporate energy users commit to purchasing all of their electricity from renewable sources.
Fleet vehicles can play a critical role in establishing early markets for new technologies, as they provide opportunities for large numbers of vehicles to be purchased by a single customer, as well as allowing these vehicles to flow through into second hand markets when fleet agreements come to an end.