Fast-track the switch to electric vehicles, big business tells Government

20 March 2019

Berlin, Germany: Leading businesses in Germany today joined forces to call on policy makers to rapidly speed up the shift to electric vehicles (EVs).

Metro AG, E.ON, LeasePlan, Ingka Group (formerly IKEA Group) and Vattenfall are all members of EV100, a global business initiative on EVs by The Climate Group, the international non-profit dedicated to accelerating climate action. They are committed to electrifying their global fleets and installing charging infrastructure by 2030.

The call comes as Germany’s mobility commission, the National Platform Future of Mobility (NPM), prepares to publish recommendations on reducing emissions from transport by 40-42% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, to be incorporated into the incoming Climate Action Law.

The recommendations present a clear opportunity for the Government to take advantage of falling battery costs and set an ambitious trajectory for rolling out EVs, in line with other European countries. Doing so will help tackle climate change and address harmful air pollution in German cities, while allowing Germany to retain its leadership as a global car supplier.                                  

The private sector has an instrumental role to play in helping the country to deliver a faster transition to EVs. More and more companies are committing to electrify their fleets to lower emissions, improve air quality, while also benefitting from lower running costs and retaining easy access to city centers.

Earlier this month Finance Minister Olaf Scholz shared plans to extend tax incentives for electric company cars, with the intention of boosting EV sales to help to improve the fortunes of an auto-industry marred by the diesel emissions scandal.

Helen Clarkson, CEO, The Climate Group, said:

“Electric vehicles are a crucial technology for achieving national climate targets while cleaning up the dirty air in our cities.

“Going electric helps companies to lower their emissions and boost long-term competitiveness – and with businesses buying two thirds of new vehicles in Europe, huge market progress can be made well before 2030.

“Policy makers should listen to growing demand and set an ambitious timeline for switching to EVs nationwide – helping Germany to retain its global leadership in this rapidly evolving sector.”

Member support

LeasePlan

As well as transitioning its own employee fleet to electric by 2021, international leasing company LeasePlan has made a unique EV100 commitment to achieving net zero emissions for 1.8 million vehicles in its customer vehicle fleet by 2030. The company sees rapidly increasing demand from its customers as companies prepare for incoming air pollution measures and to meet zero emission requirements in public tenders.

Tex Gunning, CEO of LeasePlan, said:

“Transitioning to electric mobility is one of the simplest things we can all do to help tackle climate change. Although progress is being made, we still have a long way to go. I am therefore calling on German policymakers to step up and take concerted action on vehicle taxation and infrastructure. Driving an EV should become a viable option for everyone and we cannot afford to lose any time.”

Metro AG

Wholesale and food service company Metro AG is supporting uptake of EVs at its 773 sites and offices by 2030 and has already installed charging stations for employees at its headquarter campus in Duesseldorf. As well as increasing uptake of EVs among the general public by offering EV charging to its customers, the company has also more than doubled the number of EVs in its own car fleet over the last year.

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

“METRO sees itself as an ambassador and pioneer for e-mobility in Germany. We are building up the charging infrastructure which is needed to be electrically mobile, on our store parking lots throughout Germany as well as on our Düsseldorf campus. We do so because we are convinced that e-mobility needs to be an important green alternative in road traffic.”

E.ON

Essen based European utility E.ON is switching its entire fleet to electric and further installing charging points across 100 office sites for its staff and customers.

Andreas Pfeiffer, Global Head of Domain E-Mobility, E.ON, said:

“The German government has strongly supported the development of e-mobility in recent years. Now government and industry should work closely together to achieve a real energy transition, including the transport sector. We should consider controlling measures such as a CO2 price as well as tax incentives for companies that want to convert their vehicle fleets to electric mobility.” 

Ingka Group (formerly IKEA Group)

Recognizing the need to future-proof its operations for when vehicle emissions limits become the norm in city centers, Ingka Group is transitioning its delivery fleets to electric by 2030, with 100% zero-emission last-mile deliveries in five major cities by 2020.

Angela Hultberg, Head of Sustainable Mobility, Ingka Group, said,

“Phasing out fossil fuels in favour of electro-mobility is central if we want to battle climate change and make life better in the cities by reducing air and noise pollution. And we do. Therefore, Ingka Group is aiming for 100% electric or other zero emission deliveries by 2025, moving even faster in selected cities. We are also committed to building charging infrastructure at all our stores around the world. As an example, we already offer customers the opportunity to charge their cars with renewable energy, for free, at all our 53 stores across Germany.”

Vattenfall

One of 10 utilities to have joined EV100 to date and positioning itself as a leader in the transition to clean energy, Vattenfall is committed to transitioning its entire fleet to electric. In Germany, the company has already electrified more than a quarter of its passenger vehicles. For its customers, Vattenfall offers the full-suite of solutions needed for an EV driver – charging at home, at work/business and easy and affordable access to an international public network. Its charging network InCharge is growing quickly, also in Germany.

Tomas Björnsson, Head of E-mobility, Vattenfall, said:

“Our goal is to enable a fossil free society and the electrification of the transport sector is an important element in this transition. Next to a clear and ambitious target on how many electric cars we want to have on our streets, we see the need for further regulatory measures. We need a level playing field for electric cars and thus a stepwise reduction of subsidies for fossil fuels. Further, the public and private charging infrastructure should be expanded by standardizing and simplifying processes of communities, municipalities and network operators.”

Notes

More than a dozen countries have pledged to phase out sales of the internal combustion engine. Denmark, Ireland, Norway and the Netherlands are targeting 2030 or sooner, while the UK and France are aiming for 2040.

According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, battery pack costs have fallen by 85% since 2010. EVs are expected to reach price parity with internal combustion engine vehicles (without subsidies) by 2024, and the number of EV models is expected to double by 2022.

In February the release of The Climate Group’s EV100 Progress and Insights Annual Report showed growing corporate demand for EVs around the world. 35 companies representing over half a trillion US dollars in revenue have joined the initiative to date with many more in the pipeline, leading to the electrification of more than two million vehicles by 2030.

In the build-up to the Global Climate Action Summit in September 2018, more than 60 businesses, cities, states and regional governments committed to 100% zero emission targets for transport. Brought together by The Climate Group, their commitments signalled an endgame for ICE vehicles.

In December 2018 German automotive giant Volkswagen announced its last generation of ICE vehicles would be launched by 2026.

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