Multinationals launch major push for electric vehicle adoption

Ikea rapid charger photo
CC BY-ND 2.0 Northern Ireland Executive

From renewables to electric cars—the EV100 campaign aims to build on the success of RE100.

The image above is from the launch of the first public sector rapid electric vehicle charging station in Belfast, outside an Ikea store. Ikea has already done a lot to support electric vehicle adoption. Now they're banding together with a much larger group of multinationals to push for large-scale electric vehicle adoption across the world.

The EV100 campaign is the latest initiative from The Climate Group, the same crew that got Google, Unilever and others to go 100% renewable under the banner of RE100. Specifically, this new effort will see businesses committing through 2030 to one or more of the following actions:

1) Integrating electric vehicles into directly owned or leased corporate fleets
2) Placing requirements in service contracts for electric vehicle usage
3) Supporting staff to use electric vehicles by installing charging infrastructure at all premises
4) Supporting electric vehicle uptake by customers by installing charging infrastructure at all premises

Obviously, any single company committing to any one of these steps is already a major boost for electrified transportation. But the fact that the initiative's founding members includes giants like Baidu, Deutsche Post DHL Group, Heathrow Airport, HP Inc., IKEA Group, LeasePlan, METRO AG, PG&E, Unilever and Vattenfall will send an important signal to manufacturers, fleet operators, investors and policy makers that the electric vehicle transition will not be stopped. It's also worth noting that while this project's predecessor, RE100, may once have seemed ambitious, corporations are increasingly meeting their 100% renewables goals early. Let's hope electric vehicle efforts achieve similar economies of scale.

Coming fresh on the heels of news that Uber is phasing out gas/diesel in the UK, and announcements from brands ranging from Jaguar Land Rover to Volvo suggesting a major ramp up of electrification efforts, we can be increasingly confident that the internal combustion engine's days are numbered.

Not only do campaigns like RE100 and EV100 provide backstop against any potential short-term turbulence based on national politics, they also make such backsliding significantly less likely. Just as tech giants held North Carolina lawmakers accountable for their anti-renewables efforts, we can expect to see companies that have invested early in the electric vehicle transition to stand up against any last ditch attempts from the fossil fuel lobby to derail progress.

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