San Francisco: In the biggest collective demonstration of the demand for electric vehicles to date, 26 states, cities, regions and businesses on Thursday simultaneously announced 100 per cent zero emission vehicle targets.
These programmes, developed and run by The Climate Group and C40 Cities, range from taking business fleets and employee benefit cars electric by 2030, to cities procuring only electric buses from 2025.
For the first time ever, international states and regions in the Under2 Coalition are joining forces.
Zero emission areas in cities are set to become a truly global phenomenon as 12 more cities confirm their commitment, including the Asian megacities of Tokyo and Seoul.
Collectively the targets these governments and businesses are signing up to will vastly increase the number of zero emission vehicles on the road, bringing the numbers up towards the levels necessary by 2030 to deliver on the ambition of the Paris Agreement.
Coming together under the mantle of the #ZEVchallenge, international NGOs The Climate Group and C40 Cities, inspired by the Global Climate Action Summit, have linked-up their programs for states, cities and businesses (Under2 Coalition ZEV Commitment, Green and Healthy Streets and EV100).
The commitments also include actions on infrastructure, to support consumers and businesses to charge their vehicles.
The 12 states and regions committing to Under2 Coalition Zero Emissions Vehicle Challenge are Australian Capital Territory, The Basque Country, Broward County (Florida), Catalonia and Navarra (Spain), Drenthe (The Netherlands), Emilia Romagna and Lombardy (Italy), Quebec (Canada), Scotland (Britain), Washington and California (US).
Two businesses newly committing to EV100 program, run by The Climate Group - Clif Bar and Delta Electronics, bringing the total of EV100 businesses to 23.
The #ZEVchallengeis designed to not only inspire more businesses, states and cities to set ambitious targets but also to push automakers to speed up their plans to put zero emission vehicles on the road, and raise their ambition, in time to achieve the Paris Agreement.
Gelen Clarkson, CEO of the Climate Group, said: "Today's announcement opens a new frontier for the global auto industry. Its biggest customers, public and business fleets, are demonstrating their demand for a huge increase in EVs over the next decade."
In less than a year, over 60 states, regions, cities and multinational businesses have committed to a zero-emission future.
They represent a total population of over 237 million and corporate revenue of over $480 billion.
The Climate Group and C40 Cities believe the linkage between these sectors will be critical for the future.
Workplace charging with state and city support for home charging will tackle 'range anxiety' for the vast majority of journeys.
Highly visible public fleets going electric will make it seem like the norm for consumers.
Zero emission areas will encourage more businesses to go electric if they wish to continue to operate in city centres. Crucially for the automakers there is a prospect of major fleet buyers working more closely together to encourage more electric cars on the road and to drive down costs.
(Vishal Gulati is in San Francisco at the invitation of the Climate Trends to cover the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS). He can be contacted at email@example.com)