World rolls forward on electric vehicles as US government tries to roll back

12 September 2018
  • 26 international states/regions, major cities and businesses simultaneously commit to 100% zero emission vehicle targets. 
  • #ZEVchallenge announcement, at the Global Climate Action Summit, shows the way forward to deliver mass zero emission vehicle roll.  
  • The states and cities announcing today represent a population of over 122 million.
  • A new frontier for the auto industry as many more of the world’s largest car buyers highlight they will go electric.
  • Zero emission areas in cities set to become a global phenomenon as twelve more cities commit.
  • Company and public fleets set to go zero emission during 2020s, laying the ground for mass consumer uptake.
  • #ZEVchallenge brings together leading initiatives for states (Under2 Coalition ZEV commitment), cities (C40 Cities - Green & Healthy Streets) and businesses (EV100).
  • Coordinated announcement by states, cities and businesses sends a strong message to the auto industry to move faster.
  • Within just one year, over 60 states, cities and businesses have committed to the targets contained within the #ZEVchallenge. The governments represent a population of over 237 million and the businesses have a combined revenue of over $470 billion.

Global Climate Action Summit, San Francisco, California – Thursday September 13: In the biggest collective demonstration of demand for electric vehicles to date 26 states, cities, regions and businesses today simultaneously announced 100% zero emission vehicle targets. These programs, developed and run by The Climate Group and C40 Cities, range from taking business fleets and employee benefit cars electric by 2030, to cities procuring only electric buses from 2025. For the first time ever, international states and regions in the Under2 Coalition are joining forces. Zero emission areas in cities are set to become a truly global phenomenon as 12 more cities confirm their commitment, including the Asian megacities of Tokyo and Seoul.

Collectively the targets these governments and businesses are signing up to will vastly increase the number of zero emission vehicles on the road, bringing the numbers up towards the levels necessary by 2030 to deliver on the ambition of the Paris Agreement. Coming together under the mantle of the #ZEVchallenge, international NGOs The Climate Group and C40 Cities, inspired by the Global Climate Action Summit, have linked-up their programs for states, cities and businesses (Under2 Coalition ZEV Commitment, Green & Healthy Streets and EV100). The commitments also include actions on infrastructure, to support consumers and businesses to charge their vehicles.

Announcements today

12 states & regions committing to Under2 Coalition Zero Emissions Vehicle Challenge, run by The Climate Group - Australian Capital Territory, The Basque Country, Broward County (Florida), Catalonia and Navarra (Spain), Drenthe (Netherlands), Emilia Romagna and Lombardy (Italy), Quebec (Canada), Scotland (UK), Washington and California (USA)

12 cities committing to C40 Green & Healthy Streets (Fossil Fuel Free Streets) Declaration – Birmingham, Greater Manchester, Honolulu, Medellin, Oslo, Oxford, Rotterdam, Santa Monica, Seoul, Tokyo, Warsaw, West Hollywood.

2 businesses newly committing to EV100 program, run by The Climate Group Clif Bar and Delta Electronics, bringing the total of EV100 businesses to 23.

Other related announcements

On Tuesday, US Climate Mayors announced the formation of an EV Purchasing Collaborative 19 Climate Mayors are founding, in partnership with the Electrification Coalition,  a one-stop, coordinated platform for cities’ buying EVs to drive down costs and maximize market impact.

Friday at GCAS will also see a major international zero emission vehicle infrastructure announcement, under the mantle of the ZEV Challenge

Implications for global auto market

The #ZEVchallenge is designed to not only inspire more businesses, states and cities to set ambitious targets but also to push automakers to speed up their plans to put zero emission vehicles on the road, and raise their ambition, in time to achieve the Paris Agreement.

Helen Clarkson, CEO of the Climate Group, said: “Today’s announcement opens a new frontier for the global auto industry. Its biggest customers, public and business fleets, are demonstrating their demand for a huge increase in EVs over the next decade.

“But this is also a wake-up call for the car makers and the tiny number of governments seeking to stall progress. They have a clear choice - go with the momentum and commit to a zero-emission future or miss out on this huge market opportunity.”

In less than a year, over 60 states/regions, cities and multinational businesses have committed to a zero-emission future. They represent a total population of over 237 million and corporate revenue of over $480 billion. The Climate Group and C40 Cities believe the linkage between these sectors will be critical for the future. Work place charging with state/city support for home charging will tackle ‘range anxiety’ for the vast majority of journeys. Highly visible public fleets going electric will make it seem like the norm for consumers. Zero emission areas will encourage more businesses to go electric if they wish to continue to operate in city centers. Crucially for the automakers there is a prospect of major fleet buyers working more closely together to encourage more electric cars on the road and to drive down costs.

California Governor and Global Climate Action Summit Co-Chair Edmund G Brown Jr said: “This is what the Global Climate Action Summit is all about — bold action. Now it’s time for even more states, cities, regions and businesses to do their part to get more zero emission vehicles on the road.”  

“Honolulu has the strongest commitment of any city in the United States—to eliminate fossil fuels altogether from our ground transportation by 2045,” said Mayor Kirk Caldwell of Honolulu. “I’m proud to stand with other C40 mayors to catalyze a ‘fossil-free corridor’ along Honolulu’s new electric rail line that protects our climate and improves the quality of life for our residents.”  

Kevin Cleary, CEO, Clif Bar & Company, said: “As a company of people who love the outdoors, our employees and customers look to Clif Bar to demonstrate climate leadership. Today, we’re standing with other companies in EV100 to take action on the growing issue of transportation emissions, the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the country. Together we can drive change.”  

Jay Inslee, Governor of Washington State, said: “Our single largest source of carbon emissions is our vehicles, so the more that we can electrify our cars, trucks, and buses, the more we can reduce pollution and defeat climate change in our state. By 2020 we’re committing to having a fleet of 50,000 zero emission vehicles. For 2030 we plan to go further and are targeting 100% zero emission vehicles as part of the Under2 Coalition Zero Emissions Vehicle commitment.”  

Stefano Bonaccini, President of Emilia-Romagna, said: “I strongly believe that the transition to ZEV mobility is the most important commitment of my government for the years to come.”

New Cities Joining C40 Green & Healthy Streets Declaration:

Twelve cities – Birmingham (UK), Greater Manchester, Honolulu, Medellin, Oslo, Oxford, Rotterdam, Santa Monica, Seoul, Tokyo, Warsaw, West Hollywood – representing over 34 million people[1] are joining Green & Healthy Streets today.

By signing the C40 Green & Healthy Streets Declaration, the pioneering city leaders pledged to procure only zero-emission buses from 2025 and ensure that a major area of their city is zero emission by 2030. The policies are designed to fight air pollution, improve the quality of life for all citizens, and help tackle the global threat of climate change.

These cities join the 14 already committed to Green & Healthy Streets: Paris, London, Los Angeles, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Quito, Vancouver, Cape Town, Seattle, Mexico City, Auckland, Milan, Rome and Heidelberg.


[1] Figures do not include city populations covered by California State.  

Regions committed to the Under2 Coalition Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Challenge:

Australian Capital Territory, The Basque Country, Broward County in Florida, Catalonia and Navarra in Spain, Drenthe in the Netherlands, Emilia Romagna and Lombardy in Italy, Quebec in Canada, and the American states of Washington and California have all committed to the Under2 Coalition ZEV Challenge.

The Under2 Coalition ZEV Challenge asks states and regions to commit to 100% zero emission passenger vehicle purchases before 2050. They will lead by example through public sector ZEV adoption by either converting all appropriate public fleet vehicles to ZEVs by 2030 or procuring only ZEVs for appropriate public fleets by 2030. They will also provide incentives for the purchase of ZEVs by consumers and businesses and promote the roll out of ZEV charging infrastructure and fuelling stations.  

New business commitments to EV100:

The Climate Group’s EV100 initiative brings together those companies committed to a future of electric transport. Members make a public commitment to transition their vehicle use to zero emission vehicles by 2030 and/or install charging infrastructure at their premises. This includes businesses with large fleets and those who employees are provided company cars as an employee benefit. With Signify joining just last week, EV100 now includes 23 companies from 10 countries, with more than $470bn in total revenue and over 1.8 m employees.

Clif Bar – an American company that produces organic foods and drinks is offering their employees incentives ($6500) to purchase EVs and hybrids. More than third of their 1200 employees – over 450 – have taken up the opportunity.  It has committed to electrifying its vehicle fleet, including its on-site and field marketing vehicles by 2030. The company will also install EV charging at all its offices and bakeries, currently located in six different states (California, Ohio, Arkansas, Minnesota, Indiana and Idaho).

Sue Reid, VP of Climate and Energy at Ceres, which helped to bring Clif Bar and Company to EV100, said: “By committing to EV100, these companies are sending a powerful message that they recognize the business case for electrified transportation and that demand for clean vehicles is accelerating." Ceres is a sustainability nonprofit organization working with the most influential investors and companies to build leadership and drive solutions throughout the economy. “Transportation is the largest contributor to U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Since companies own the majority of all vehicles on the road, they are in a position to dramatically influence transportation emissions. The EV100 member companies are seizing a huge opportunity to lead the way toward a low-carbon future.”

Delta Electronics – Delta Electronics is a global provider of power and thermal management solutions and the first EV100 member from the energy-infrastructure supply side. Delta itself provides power efficient EV chargers and energy solutions to support the advance of sustainable cities. It has offices, R&D centers, and plants across the world and is committed to supporting the adoption of EV by its staff and customers. Delta has already installed more than 40 EV charging stations at its global headquarters in Taipei, its Americas headquarters in California, and its Shanghai administration center, as well as deployed electric shuttles for its employees.

Jesse Chou, Spokesperson & Assistant Vice President & CSR Committee Members, Delta Electronics, said:  “Delta’s corporate mission, ‘To provide innovative, clean and energy-efficient solutions for a better tomorrow’, entails a decisive focus on the foundations of sustainable cities. Therefore, we are continuously leveraging our core competencies in high-efficiency power electronics and system integration to develop and deploy not only smart energy infrastructure for cities, but also the most crucial automotive electronics for the world’s leading EV manufacturers. Providing convenient and user-friendly EV charging facilities and services has triggered our employees’ mindset and behavior to make a difference. While the number of electric vehicles increases, the lower the environmental impact is expected.”

Jay Inslee, Governor of Washington State, said: “Our single largest source of carbon emissions is our vehicles, so the more that we can electrify our cars, trucks, and buses, the more we can reduce pollution and defeat climate change in our state. By 2020 we’re committing to having a fleet of 50,000 zero emission vehicles. For 2030 we plan to go further and are targeting 100% zero emission vehicles as part of the Under2 Coalition Zero Emissions Vehicle commitment.”

Minister Raffaele Cattaneo, Lombardy, said: “The reduction of emissions from road vehicles is one of the primary objectives of the Lombardy Region to improve the air we breathe while fighting climate change. As an institution, in agreement with the Italian Regions of the Po Valley, we have put in place a number of measures that encourage the use of ZEV and promote a sustainable urban mobility enhancing public transport services. Lombardy prioritizes incentives rather than bans to support citizens make sustainable choices.”

Catalonia, Spain – currently has over 1,400 charge points and is working on a public fast ZEV charging network to be finished by the end of 2019. This network will ensure that there’s always at least one charge point within a 30km radius.    Anette Solli, County Mayor, Akershus County Council, said: “Only by creating policies for introducing both zero emission technologies, hydrogen fuel cell and battery eclectic, will we be able to reach the goal for zero emission transportation.”

Stefano Bonaccini, President of Emilia-Romagna, said: “As President of Emilia Romagna Region, one of the most developed regions in Europe, we have always been at the forefront in the fight against pollution and in the reduction of GHG emissions. For this reason, I strongly believe that the transition to ZEV mobility is the most important commitment of my government for the years to come.  We are achieving this aim through a series of actions: incentives, regulatory acts, electric mobility promotion initiatives and agreements with municipalities and energy providers, but also through the collective involvement of all regional stakeholders engaged in making Emilia-Romagna a zero-emission Region.”

Mr. Federico Gutierrez Zuluaga, Mayor – City of Medellín, said: “Our purpose is to become the capital of electric mobility in Latin America to positively impact the welfare of our people. We promote sustainable means of transport, we are replacing and buying electrical buses for our BRT system - Metroplús and we that have decided that 100% of the new vehicles will also be electrical.  In addition, we are committed to promoting the renewal of the diesel or gasoline public transport fleet to 100% electrical vehicles. We are implementing public policies towards the climate change and sustainability, always considering our citizens."  

Mayor Marianne Borgen, Mayor of Oslo, said: "Our climate ambition is to reduce emissions 95% by 2030. Transportation is our biggest challenge. We need to rapidly accelerate a transformation to zero-emission mobility. Sales of EVs are boosting in Oslo. 43% of all new cars sold in the first quarter of 2018 were battery-electric.  It’s a result of the national government making zero-emission cars cheaper, and Oslo making it cheap and easy to drive, park and charge an EV. With the C40 Green & Healthy Streets (Fossil Fuel Free Streets) Declaration our efforts will be further strengthened.  By working globally to achieve zero-emission dominance in commercial vehicle sales we will achieve a lot more than working in isolation. I am pleased to announce that Oslo joins that commitment."

Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, Mayor of Warsaw, said: “Over ten years ago, we decided to become a municipal leader in the field of sustainable development. Not only in Poland but also in the region, that is Central Europe. The key to sustainability in cities is modern transportation: energy-efficient, intermodal and based on public services. Warsaw has been investing in the construction and extension of the underground, further extending the tramway network and the development of the Rapid City Rail. We are also focusing on turning the city into a bicycle and pedestrian-friendly zone. Last but not least, for the last 10 years, we have been introducing electric mobility – both in regard to buses and passenger cars. Electric engines are more energy efficient and emit less CO2, which is particularly important for countries based on coal, like Poland.”

At just under two square miles, the City of West Hollywood is one of the most compact and densest cities in California,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor Pro Tempore John D’Amico. “Along with supporting the market growth of electric vehicles and transportation electrification efforts via a plethora of programs, West Hollywood has been a long-time proponent for alternative modes of transportation. Recent successes include: maintaining a Walk Score of 91, debuting the WeHo Pedals Bike Share program in 2016, adopting a Pedestrian and Bicycle Mobility Plan in 2017, expanding the route of our free trolley lines on two of the City’s most heavily trafficked thoroughfares, updating the City’s Transportation Demand Management Program Ordinance, and expanding the City’s free rush hour shuttle route to provide a connection to Metrorail. I’m incredibly proud to represent the City of West Hollywood at the upcoming Global Climate Action Summit and learn about new ways we can accelerate our Fossil Fuel Free Streets Declaration commitments.”

Tom Hayes, Oxford City Council Cabinet member for a Safer and Greener Environment, said:  “Oxford City Council is listening intently to the Oxford scientists and their warnings about the threat of a warming world and air pollution. The rise in temperatures isn’t inevitable, it’s a choice, and this City Council chooses a sustainable city that works for everyone. From 2020, we’re set to become the world’s first zero emissions zone to clean up our dirty air and reduce the harmful effects of pollution. Oxford is finding ways to do what nations cannot and, we’re doing it together with other cities in the UK and overseas. That’s why Oxford is thrilled to join a list of international cities, committed to pioneering practical solutions, by signing the C40 Fossil-Fuel-Free Streets Declaration. Our climate future requires global action at a local level. I hope that Oxford’s support for this Declaration will not only lead to practical change on our city’s streets, but also encourage other cities to become greener, healthier, and more prosperous, too.”

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “Today, I stand alongside the Mayors of some of the greatest cities in the world. I’m committed to a cleaner, greener and healthier future for Greater Manchester. Around a third of greenhouse gas emissions in our city-region come from transport and road traffic is the biggest source of air pollution. “We are currently developing a Clean Air Plan for Greater Manchester to help tackle this urgent health and environmental issue.”

Councillor Waseem Zaffar, Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment at Birmingham City Council, said: “In Birmingham, we are committed to addressing the issue of air quality and are currently working on proposals for a Clean Air Zone which will see the most polluting vehicles charged to enter the city centre as we move to encourage more people to walk, cycle or use public transport instead. 

“We want to work with our partners at Transport for West Midlands to bring forward the cleanest bus fleet possible to help us achieve a city where our children, their children and future generations to come all have access to clean air, as is their basic human right.”

US Mayors’ Climate Mayors EV Purchasing Collaborative

On Wednesday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the launch of the Climate Mayors EV Purchasing Collaborative. This is an unprecedented collaboration of cities across the country committed to rapidly converting municipal fleets to electric, through the creation of a new, one-stop online platform, DriveEVFleets.org. The new Climate Mayors platform leverages cities' collective buying power to deliver, together with its partners the Electrification Coalition, the tools, resources and expertise needed to rapidly transition city fleets—including equal access to competitively bid contracts for EVs and charging infrastructure for cities of all sizes, thereby lowering vehicle costs, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and maximizing market impact. At launch, 19 founding Climate Mayors cities committed to purchase more than 300 EVs in the first year with numbers expected to grow significantly in further years.

About The Climate Group, C40 and GCAS

About The Climate Group: The Climate Group’s mission is to accelerate climate action to achieve a world of under 2°C of global warming. We do this by bringing together powerful networks of business and governments that shift global markets and policies. We focus on the greatest global opportunities for change, take innovation and solutions to scale, and build ambition and pace. We are an international non-profit organization, founded in 2004, with offices in London, New Delhi and New York.

Our business campaigns are brought to you as part of the We Mean Business coalition.

Visit TheClimateGroup.org and follow us on Twitter @ClimateGroup and Facebook @TheClimateGroup.

About the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group: Around the world, C40 Cities connects 96 of the world’s greatest cities to take bold climate action, leading the way towards a healthier and more sustainable future. Representing over 700 million citizens and one quarter of the global economy, mayors of the C40 cities are committed to delivering on the most ambitious goals of the Paris Agreement at the local level, as well as to cleaning the air we breathe. The current chair of C40 is Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo; and three-term Mayor of New York City Michael R. Bloomberg serves as President of the Board. C40’s work is made possible by our three strategic funders: Bloomberg Philanthropies, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), and Realdania.

To learn more about the work of C40 and our cities, please visit our website, or follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn

About the Global Climate Action Summit: The Global Climate Action Summit takes place Sept. 12-14, 2018, in San Francisco under the theme “Taking Ambition to the Next Level.” To keep warming well below 2°C, and ideally 1.5° C—temperatures that could lead to catastrophic consequences—worldwide emissions must start trending down by 2020. The summit will showcase climate action around the world, along with bold new commitments to give world leaders the confidence they can go even further by 2020 in support of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. The summit’s five headline challenge areas are: Healthy Energy Systems, Inclusive Economic Growth, Sustainable Communities, Land and Ocean Stewardship, and Transformative Climate Investments.

Many partners are supporting the summit and the mobilization in advance including The Climate Group; the Global Covenant of Mayors; Ceres, the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group; BSR; We Mean Business; CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project; the World Wide Fund for Nature; and Mission 2020. 

For more information on the Summit visit globalclimateactionsummit.org. #StepUp2018

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