An NPO leading the transition to electric vehicles
The number of four-wheel vehicles owned around the world is about 1,374 million*. In order to replace them with electric vehicles, considerable social infrastructure should be developed, and it will take a long time which is hard to predict. However, how long does it take to replace them all in case of corporate vehicles owned by general companies? Looking at this point, a group that would reduce greenhouse gases by switching a large number of corporate cars owned by general companies into electric vehicles at once has been established in the United States. The group was launched by an NPO Ceres based in Boston, which is an organization whose goal is to connect investors and businesses and innovate existing businesses for a sustainable future.
The name of the group is the Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance. It is an association of companies that promote electric vehicles. The alliance includes international companies such as Amazon, IKEA and DHL that are well known in Japan. While few companies do not use cars at all, cars are indispensable especially in the transportation and delivery of goods for these companies.
According to the announcement by Ceres, unfortunately, the electric vehicle market has not yet reached the point where companies introduce it as a corporate car. Although the development of electric vehicles is attracting attention, there is a current situation that mass production and deploying various sizes have not been achieved to meet diverse business needs. Therefore, the aim of this alliance is to lead the development of cost-competitive, low-cost electric vehicles by playing a central role in consolidating the needs of companies.
It is said that the introduction of electric vehicles has a positive impact not only on the environment but also on companies. While it has a direct impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, it will no longer be affected by the unstable price of gasoline. In addition, it is said that giving attention to the environment affects the improvement of corporate reputation, and even the retention of employees in recent years.
IKEA, one of the participating companies, has committed to using electric vehicles for delivery of all home furniture by 2025. Sue Reed who is responsible for Climate and Energy at Ceres, emphasizes “decarbonization on transport-related businesses with the highest CO2 emissions in the United States is demanded, and electric vehicles are an essential component of this transition,” on environmental issues.
According to Reuters, in Norway, where electric vehicles are becoming more popular, the number of new vehicles sold in 2019 was 142,381, of which 42.4% or 60,316 were electric vehicles. Norway aims to be the first country in Europe to ban the sale of gasoline and diesel vehicles by 2025. That might be possible, given the current situation of nearly half of new cars being electric vehicles. On the other hand, in order to spread electric vehicles, it is indispensable to develop social infrastructure including charging facilities in addition to the performance of the electric vehicles themselves. The electric vehicle market will expand if these two movements fit well together just like wheels.
*Source of Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, end of 2017