Fleet purchasing may turn out to be critical to electrification.
There's little doubt that corporate support for renewables has served as an important backstop against political obstructionism, and we may soon start to see a similar dynamic when it comes to vehicle electrification. Following up on commitments from many private companies to start electrifying their fleets, Business Green reports that two of Europe's big mail operators—Swiss Post and Austrian Post—are now promising 100% electric vehicles by the end of the next decade as part of the growing EV100 campaign.
There are several reasons why this is important. Firstly, it represents a significant number of vehicles in and of itself—Austrian Post alone will have to add an additional 9,000 vehicles to meet its commitment, and Swiss Post will need 10,000. Secondly, because of the nature of the business, this will mean a major boost to makers of electric delivery vans and other medium-duty commercial vehicles—meaning more such vehicles will also become available to other actors in the private sector. And lastly, as I've argued before, commercial vehicle electrification is more valuable than private sector electrification because commercial vehicles tend to do more miles day in and day out. And they are probably harder to replace compared to private car ownership (although cargo bikes will play a role).One other thought on all this: Private car owners may be reluctant to take the leap into electrification initially, until they get comfortable with a different way of thinking about fueling/charging, range, and other substantive differences. The more drivers that get exposed to electric vehicles at work—and chances are that each of these vehicles will have multiple drivers—the more willing they'll be to take the leap at home, as more affordable electric vehicles finally come on the market.