Greening Corporate Fleets initiative calls on EU to quicken EV transition

In an open letter to the EU Commission, some 30 companies like Uber, Ikea, Coca-Cola, or Leaseplan demand that only electric company cars and delivery vans be allowed in the European Union from 2030. From then, no new ICE cars or vans should be allowed in company fleets.

The companies, including Tesco, SAP, Umicore and EVBox, are calling on the Commission to propose a regulation setting binding zero-emissions targets for corporate fleets by October 2023 as part of its Greening Corporate Fleets initiative. The legislative proposal should also allow member states to set more ambitious national targets and deadlines for zero-emission fleets. The letter also calls for the accelerated expansion of the charging infrastructure.

The companies base their push on the fact that 60 per cent of cars sold in Europe are company cars and that these vehicles are driven twice as much as private cars. Fleet managers’ purchasing decisions also significantly impact the rest of the market, as vehicles typically hit the used market after only three to five years. According to the letter, companies are in a good position to lead this push for electrification because they tend to make purchasing decisions based on the total cost of ownership (TCO), where electric vehicles have an advantage over internal combustion vehicles.

Accelerating the electrification of fleets could pay off for the EU in three ways: rapidly reducing emissions from road transport, reducing dependence on Russian oil imports, and creating a thriving second-hand market for affordable electric vehicles.

The European Union is gearing up to ban sales of combustion cars and light commercial vehicles from 2035, so this could push the market to move faster. Corresponding legislation is currently with the Member States after Parliament has approved the Commission’s draft.

This happened simultaneously with the EU Commission presenting its draft also to decarbonise heavy duty vehicles in the Bloc as reported earlier this week.

Correspondingly, the signees of the open letter are calling on the EU to widen the scope to heavy commercial vehicles and set binding purchase targets for fleets of a certain size. “These targets should be in line with all new heavy commercial vehicles being zero emission by 2035,” they write, therefore also pushing for accelerated decarbonisation. The current draft calls for HGVs to be zero-emission by 2040 but sets only a 90% target. This has been criticised by organisations and some in the industry.

As for the letter, the organisations and businesses want to see the EU Commission “sending a strong signal to policymakers, automakers and other industry players that the future is electric and we need the right framework conditions to shift gears”.

Additional reporting by Nora Manthey.


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