C40 Cities and the Climate Group have launched the ‘Zero Emission Vehicle Challenge’ in order to “massively accelerate” the adoption of electric vehicles. Initiators include cities like London, New York and Paris as well as industry partners.
The ZEV Challenge addresses carmakers in particular, asking them to scale up production of electric cars and to free money to invest in battery research so prices may decrease.
Apart from C40 members such as New York City, Paris, Los Angeles, London, Milan, Rome, Copenhagen and Mexiko City, Medellin, also the state of California and the regions of Australian Capital Territory and Navarra have signed up.
From the industry, enterprises such as EDF Energy, LeasePlan and Unilever have joined so far. They are also part of the EV100 initiative that aims to electrify commercial fleets and urges other businesses to join.
In addition, the ZEV Challenge members pledge to work towards banning sales of combustion engine vehicles. In support, they will ask carmakers to work towards a phase-out date for their own ICEs and to commit to selling a minimum number of zero-emission vehicles by 2025.
The idea to push the supply side is not new and here summarised by Tex Gunning, CEO LeasePlan: “Although we’re seeing the appetite for EVs rise every day, the vehicles, infrastructure or policies to meet this demand aren’t there yet.” In a similar note although from the side of demand, we had recently featured a more in-depth analysis of women as an ideal target group for electric vehicle sales and one who has been largely overlooked by carmakers. Another report uncovered delivery delays of electric cars from almost all carmakers and those like Volkswagen continue to be faced with “unprecedented demand” for the few plug-in models on offer.
Yet times are changing, knows Mary D. Nichols, Chair, California Air Resources Board, who said: “The auto industry knows this is a global trend and many are racing to be part of it.”
Therefore the Zero Emission Vehicle Challenge is designed to accelerate trends fostering electric transport already underway in several nations, regions, states and cities. The most recent example is the ‘Plug-in Pledge’ by the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA). They aim to raise the number of plug-in vehicles in fleets from 50,000 today to 720,000 by 2025 reportedly.