Leading Businesses Charge Ahead With EVs To Tackle City Air Pollution: New Report

More companies than ever are switching to electric vehicles, helping to combat air pollution in cities, lower business risk and future proof their operations as low emission zones are introduced globally.

The Climate Group’s first report on EV100, its global initiative to accelerate the market shift to electric transport by 2030, showcases the leadership of multinational companies including Ingka Group (formerly IKEA Group), Deutsche Post DHL Group and Bank of America.

To date, The Climate Group has secured the electrification of more than 2 million vehicles by 2030. The initiative now brings together 31 leading companies with a combined revenue of over half a trillion US dollars.  

The report covers the commitments of 23 member companies. Together they are switching 145,000 vehicles to electric in 66 markets worldwide by 2030, saving over 6.6 million metric tons CO2e – equivalent to the carbon footprint of 1.9 million UK households.

Over 95% of these businesses cite reducing greenhouse gas emissions as a ‘very significant’ or ‘significant’ driver for switching, and 80% cite the need to tackle air pollution. A third identify financial savings as an incentive. 

Helen Clarkson, CEO, The Climate Group, said:

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 electric vehicles. “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.”

Ingka Group (formerly IKEA Group) is future-proofing its operations by switching to EVs. Due to future limits on vehicle emissions in Amsterdam’s city centre, from 2025 it would lose direct access through deliveries to more than 390,000 households and US$30.2 million turnover per year. The retailer has committed to 100% zero-emission last-mile deliveries in five major cities by 2020 – and last month reached this goal in Shanghai one year early.

Pia Heidenmark Cook, Chief Sustainability Officer, Ingka Group (formerly IKEA Group), said:

Transforming our deliveries to zero emission options is no longer a nice to do – it’s a must. “Air pollution is severe, for both people and our planet, and we need to take action. As a business, the transition will help us mitigate a huge business risk as cities are restricting the use of fossil fuels. It’s a win-win-win, and we see no reason to delay this.”

Global logistics and fleet management company LeasePlan has also made a unique commitment to achieve net zero emissions from its 1.8 million vehicle customer fleet.

Tex Gunning, CEO, LeasePlan, said:

As a leasing company with 1.8 million cars on the road, we have a responsibility to do everything we can to support the development of a more sustainable transport system. Our aim is to help create healthier environments in our towns and cities by promoting cleaner, low-emission vehicles and the infrastructure required to make these cars a viable option for our customers. I encourage business leaders around the world to make the switch to electric vehicles. This is one of the simplest things we can all do to help tackle climate change.”

French EV100 member EDF Group will switch more than 31,000 vehicles to electric by 2030, with 27,000 in France alone. Its Plan Mobilité Electrique will also deploy 75,000 charging points and provide access to 250,000 interoperable chargers for its customers by 2022.

Paris City Hall has pledged to phase out all combustion-engine cars from the city by 2030, ten years ahead of France’s national target. 

Yannick Duport, Director of the Mobility Unit at EDF Group, said: 

EV100 is an extraordinary catalyzer of energies towards a clean-transport future. EDF Group managed to introduce EV100 as a key performance indicator to the financial sector: now EDF enjoys a € 4 bn credit line indexed on three indicators of the group’s sustainable development performance, one of which being the achievement of our EV100 targets. Isn’t that extraordinary? The merger of sustainability and finance in action.”

The international logistics company Deutsche Post DHL Group is already seeing 60-70% savings on fuel costs and 60-80% savings on maintenance and repair from its StreetScooter vehicles compared to standard vehicles.

Prof. Dr. Achim Kampker, Executive Vice President E-Mobility, Deutsche Post DHL Group and CEO StreetScooter GmbH, said:

StreetScooter allows quiet and most of all emission free delivery on the last mile, even in highly polluted agglomeration areas. This issue is drastically gaining importance – and not only in Germany, where municipalities are instructed by court order on a near daily basis to enforce a ban of diesel powered vehicles. “A significant cutback on logistics-related emissions is an integral part of our group’s strategy. And that means 70 percent reduction by 2025, and zero emissions by 2050. But is that really feasible, given for example the massive growth of the online retail market and the daily rise of parcel volume? Yes it is, by getting a move on in mobility issues, resolutely away from fossil fuel powered vehicles onward to sustainable transport solutions. Using the StreetScooter we will be able to achieve just that with an in-house built, proven electric vehicle.” 

METRO AG is committed to switch its fleet to electric and install charging infrastructure at its 773 sites and offices by 2030. In the past year, the company has more than doubled the number of EVs in its fleet and reached a 140% increase of installed chargers.

Heiko Hutmacher, Chief Human Resources Officer and Member of the Management Board responsible for Sustainability, METRO AG, said:

With a growing number of e-vans and e-trucks in delivery, we help reduce air pollution and noise in the cities, hence contributing to life quality not only in metropoles like Paris, Florence or Vienna, but as well in many other cities where we are creating awareness and impact for e-mobility. Today’s environmental challenges require strong partnerships and joint action – with EV100 we are proud to support the move towards cleaner energy and cities.

14 out of 15 of the world’s most polluted cities are in India, according to the World Health Organisation. Global information technology company Wipro will switch its fleet to 100% electric by 2030, firstly in the Indian cities of Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune, then in international markets.

Hariprasad Hegre, Senior Vice President & Global Head – Operations, Wipro Limited, said:

At Wipro, we see our progress embedded in leading change for our customers, partners, suppliers, and employees through sustainable business practices. Adoption of electric vehicles allows us to demonstrate our firm commitment towards ‘Good Citizenship’ by reducing the ecological footprint of our business operations and enabling a cleaner environment in cities where we have a presence.”

Since 2016, Bank of America has installed more than 100 workplace charging ports, with more planned in 2019. Charging is offered free to employees, which complements the bank’s low-carbon vehicle reimbursement program, in which nearly 10,000 employees have participated.

Alex Liftman, Global Environmental executive at Bank of America, said:

As a member of RE100 and EV100, Bank of America is extending our efforts to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy and support innovation that can help us rethink how we use transportation and energy today. We are working to reduce our operational footprint, while providing programs to help our employees reduce their impacts on the environment.”

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) – the largest provider of transportation infrastructure in a U.S. metropolitan area – has committed to electrifying its entire fleet of vehicles and airport shuttle buses by 2030.

As a first major milestone towards its EV100 commitment, PANYNJ will switch 50% of its 1,300 light duty vehicles to electric by 2025, as well as its entire fleet of 36 airport shuttle buses.

Rick Cotton, Executive Director of Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said:

The Port Authority continues to work toward its aggressive interim and long-term goals to significantly reduce carbon emissions across its facilities to help mitigate climate change.  “We are proud to have joined The Climate Group’s EV100 as a member. We are committed to playing an aggressive role in working with The Climate Group to seek continued ways to reduce the agency’s carbon footprint.”

More than two dozen cities have committed to establish low emission zones by 2030 and more than a dozen countries worldwide have pledged to end sales of combustion engine vehicles by 2040 or before. Over half of them are targeting 2030 or sooner – including Denmark, Ireland, Norway, the Netherlands and Costa Rica.

Air pollution is on the rise worldwide, causing 4.2 million deaths a year globally, and costing the economy US$2.6 trillion annually.

Over 70% of EV100 members identify lack of EV charging infrastructure as one of the biggest barriers to increased EV adoption.

EV100 is addressing this issue by driving the installation of charging points. Commitments by members will give access to EV charging to over 630,000 employees by 2030.