The EV100 campaign will be launched today at an event in New York and aims to use the collective buying of multinationals to accelerate the take up of EVs around the globe.
Among the first companies to sign up to the campaign are Heathrow Airport, IKEA and Unilever.
The companies have all promised to fast-track their rollout and integrate EVs directly into their owned or leased fleets by 2030.
The firms have also pledged to put requirements in service contracts for EV usage and to support the staff use of EVs by installing charge points at their offices by the same date.
The chief executive of the Climate Group, Helen Clarkson, said the aim of the EV100 campaign is to make ‘electric transport the new normal’.
‘Transport is still the fastest growing area of carbon emissions, as the shift to electric vehicles is not happening fast enough; and mass system change, even with government intervention, needs much greater customer demand,’ said Ms Clarkson.
‘EV100 will use companies’ collective global buying power and influence on employees and customers to build demand and cut costs.
‘The members being announced today see the business logic in leading a faster transition and addressing local air quality issues in their markets. They are setting a competitive challenge to the auto industry to deliver more EVs, sooner and at lower cost.’
Another of the signatories to the campaign is the Chinese tech giant Baidu, which is developing future autonomous EV technology.
The vice president of Baidu, Wang Lu, said: ‘As one of the world’s leading IT companies, we are inspired to create a better future for all through technology innovation, and are committed to sustainability across our business operations.
‘We have already made significant progress in promoting low carbon electro-mobility. We hope that other Chinese companies will follow our lead.’
The Renewable Energy Association’s head of EVs, Matthew Trevaskis told Environment Journal: ‘The leadership shown by multinationals and large corporates taking the collective initiative to make EVs the “new normal” will certainly accelerate the transition to a more sustainable transport system.
‘What’s needed now in the UK is central and local government leadership to enable this change happens uniformly, across the country and society.
‘Such a strategy needs to look at everything from building regulations to manufacturing, power generation and charging infrastructure so barriers can be minimised and electric vehicles become an obvious choice for consumers.’
In July, Volvo became the first major car manufacturer to announce it was ending the production of cars powered solely by petrol and diesel by 2019.
In the same month, the British government announced plans to end the sale of petrol and diesel cars in this country by 2040.
Although a report published by the Green Alliance last month urged the government to put stronger rollout targets in place and claimed the 2040 date was ‘too little, too late’.
Recently published figures from the Office for National Statistics show just 5% of people in the UK are thinking about buying an electric car or van, while 55% said they had not thought about it.
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