London. The UK’s four biggest fleet operators – BT and Openreach, Centrica, DPD UK and Royal Mail – today join together to call on the UK Government to commit to 100% electric vehicle (EV) sales by 2030.
The UK Electric Fleets Coalition, run by international non-profit, the Climate Group, which advocates for accelerating the transition to EVs in the UK by 2030. Collectively, the Coalition operates ~500,000 vehicles.
Also today, the Coalition announces it has reached almost 30 members, including some of the most well-known brands in the UK. Members now include: Anglian Water, BT, Centrica, Dixons Carphone, DPD UK, EDF, E.ON, ENGIE, Fleet Alliance, Foxtons, Heathrow Airport, Hitachi Capital UK, Iberdrola/Scottish Power, Ingka Group (IKEA), LeasePlan, Lime, Mawdsleys, Mitie, Natwest Group, Octopus, Openreach, Orsted, OVO Energy, Royal Mail, Severn Trent, SSE, Tesco, Tusker and Unilever.
The coalition released a policy paper in the summer which called for the Government to:
· Set a 2030 target: 100% of new car and van sales to be fully electric by 2030 (with exceptions for the small number of vehicles where this may not be possible).
· Stimulate supply to meet business demand: Introduce a zero-emission vehicle mandate to require vehicle manufacturers to produce an annually increasing percentage of zero-emission vehicles.
· Drive demand: Extend grants for electric vehicles and charging points through to at least 2022, when EVs are expected to start competing on price with conventional vehicles.
· Invest in infrastructure: Speed up the rollout of public charge-points across the UK for use by any payment system.
Latest new joiner, Royal Mail, has the largest business fleet in the UK. Stuart Simpson, CEO, Royal Mail says: “I am really pleased that we are joining this coalition to help accelerate the transition to low carbon, electric fleets across the UK. Our ‘feet on the street’ network means Royal Mail already has the lowest reported CO2 emissions per parcel amongst major UK delivery companies.
“But, we need to go further. We want to become a net zero carbon business with a 100% alternative fuel fleet. We want to play a leading role on this agenda. To that end, we are committed to buying more alternative fuel vehicles for our fleet. We will work with this coalition to champion and enable the widespread implementation of charging infrastructure to make that happen in as many locations as possible across the UK.”
CEO of international non profit, the Climate Group, Helen Clarkson, says: “When you combine these names together, you get an incontestable voice from businesses asking for more ambitious policies on transport from the UK Government.
“The Prime Minister is due to release a 10 point plan to ‘build back greener’, and I urge him to listen to the businesses asking for swift action today.”
Transport is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK and roadside air pollution causes thousands of premature deaths every year. A growing body of evidence suggests that air pollution exacerbates the impacts and transmission of COVID-19. A rapid transformation of the UK’s vehicle stock from internal combustion engine (ICE) to electric is a vital part of the solution for both public health and the climate emergency.