Ikea, DHL, Bank of America leading business charge towards EV, says report

More big companies are switching to electric vehicles, helping to combat air pollution in cities, lower business risk and prepare for low emission zones, according to an EV100 report from The Climate Group.

Their first report on EV100, its global initiative to encourage big business to take up electric transport, highlights initiatives taken by multinational companies including Ingka Group (formerly IKEA Group), Deutsche Post DHL Group and Bank of America.

According to the report, its 23 members who have signed up to EV100 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.

Businesses in the report say one reason they are switching to electric is so they are prepared for the global trend towards low emission zones. More than two dozen cities have already committed to establishing 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.

In the report, 95% of 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.

Ikea 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 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.’

The report also mentions how 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.

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.’

Read the report here.