Drive to adopt electric vehicles

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A new initiative has been launched to speed up the adoption of electric fleet vehicles (EVs). The UK Electric Fleet Alliance is a partnership between non-profit The Climate Group, BT Group and OpenReach, with the goal of ensuring 100% of new car sales are EVs by 2030.

A green alliance

The drive to up the pace of electric adoption will use targeted policy support to help businesses switch over to greener vehicles, according to Intelligent Transport.

The Climate Group has already seen results from its EV100 electric vehicle initiative, which invites businesses to commit to switching to electric by 2030.

BT Group and OpenReach have pledged to ensure their fleets are all-EV by 2030 and aim to be a net zero emissions business by 2045. They plan to advocate for policies to be adopted that bring forward the adoption of EVs. The government has pledged to ban the sale of all petrol, diesel and hybrid cars by 2035.

Forthcoming COP26 summit

The alliance plans to make clean road transport a priority at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26 summit) in Glasgow, due to be held on 1st-12th November 2021.

Philip Jansen, BT Group Chief Executive, said: “We have an outstanding record in reducing carbon emissions and have plans to be a net zero emissions business by 2045. The switch to low and zero emissions vehicles is a key element in our carbon strategy and this new partnership will be critical in allowing us to make the switch.

“We hope that this coalition will help drive the necessary bold action from other businesses and policymakers needed to transition to the low carbon economy.”

Helen Clarkson, chief executive officer at The Climate Group commented that the EV goal helps to set a powerful example of climate leadership to other countries around the world as they review climate pledges and start rolling out Coronavirus recovery plans.

“BT and OpenReach are fantastic partners, not just making the commitment to transform their own operations to zero-emission solutions like EVs, but also making advocacy for the net zero transition a key pillar of their campaigning work.”

Chief executive officer at Openreach Clive Selley agreed that while OpenReach should be playing a key role in the EV transition, there are still significant challenges that need to be addressed.

“The kinds of vehicles, scale of manufacturing, supply chains and infrastructure needed to electrify large fleets like ours – the second largest fleet of vehicles in the UK – simply doesn’t exist today. So, we need Government support to make the transition faster and fuller, and the commitment to maintaining plug-in grants is a welcome first step.”

Image credit: John Cameron, Unsplash

When will you make the switch?

More and more people are switching to EVs in the UK. At the end of May 2020, there were 301,000 electric cars on UK roads and 8,800 plug-in vans, according to Next Green Car. EVs account for 16% of all new car registrations, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

This is a market that is growing rapidly. Registrations for pure-EVs in the first five months of 2020 are 60% higher than they were in 2019, and EVs represent the only vehicle fuel type to see growth in new car sales.

It now seems inevitable that fossil fuelled vehicles will disappear from our roads eventually – it’s just a question of when companies will move with the times and opt for green vehicles over carbon-emitting alternatives.

Image source: Shutterstock

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