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Stakeholders in future EU electric vehicle market to collaborate around urban deployment

06 April 2011
Stakeholders in future EU electric vehicle market to collaborate around urban deployment

LONDON: The Climate Group and Polis today hosted a joint event at the offices of The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) to discuss how local governments, fleet owners, and the energy and motor industries can work together to grow the European market for electric vehicles (EVs).

Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group, said: “While central governments are setting long-term policies to change the world’s transport systems, the Clean Revolution in the transport sector will start in our cities, states and regions. It is easy to work in isolation in transport, or city energy usage, or energy generation itself, but the challenge and huge businesses opportunity will be to link the three together in a smart way.”

Opening the event, Isabel Dedring, Mayor of London’s Advisor for Environment, said: “The Mayor of London wants to create the electric car capital of Europe. We're planning 100,000 electric vehicles to be in use as soon as possible. Collaboration across a raft of private and public sector organizations is key to the delivery of the Mayor's ambitious plans. The launch this spring of Source London, the first ever city-wide electric vehicle scheme, is a great testimony to partnership working, not least as we are able to share our experiences with other regions to accelerate their own plans.”

Alexandra van Huffelen, Vice-Mayor of Rotterdam, highlighted the efforts of her city: “Electric transport has a lot of potential. I am certainly convinced of this. However this budding technology needs a solid impulse. With its program Rotterdam Electric, Rotterdam hopes to speed up the introduction of electric transport. The aim is to have at least 1,000 electric vehicles in Rotterdam. It is the government's task, and a very important task at that, to make it possible to develop the necessary charging infrastructure.”

Her comments were echoed by representatives from Hamburg, Basque Country and Amsterdam, who illustrated the commitment of local public authorities across Europe. One example is the Autolib’ public cars scheme, which will deploy a fleet of 3000 EVs for public use in Paris by 2012.

Fleets are where a high proportion of new vehicles are purchased. In the UK in 2009, nearly 2 million new vehicles were registered. The top 200 fleet owners in the UK own nearly half a million vehicles and replace them every three to four years, so the control of the vehicle market is increasingly lying with fleet managers, who look at the total cost of ownership when choosing to invest.

Highlighting the potential of fleet coalition, Ruben van Doorn, Project Director, TNT, said: “Fleet managers have the purchasing power to help quickly expand the EV market, and bring down cost of individual EVs for consumers. But we need to work with cities, auto manufacturers, infrastructure suppliers and other fleet purchasers to ensure that our initial investment in this technology is attractive in terms of cost, vehicle availability and operating infrastructure.”

The event marked the launch of The Climate Group’s activities on UK fleets under its EV20 program, which aims to accelerate early EV market development by facilitating the creation and sharing of cutting edge policy and best practice. Models developed as part of The Climate Group’s initiative in the UK can be shared and replicated in other cities around Europe. The EV20 programme benefits from the support of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.

Read the full press release

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