Wednesday, September 20, 2017

10 Top Companies Commit to Electric Vehicles, Sending Auto Industry a Message

The EV100 coalition is expanding EV charging infrastructure and shifting away from gas for transportation, the fastest growing emissions source.

San Francisco-based power company PG&E, a member of the EV100 coalition, illustrates some of the challenges of moving quickly away from gas- and diesel-powered transportation — and ways to make progress. (Credit: PG&E) Click to Enlarge.
A group of large corporations, including utilities and an international delivery company, launched a global campaign Tuesday to accelerate the shift to electric vehicles and away from gas- and diesel-powered transportation—which generates almost a quarter of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions worldwide and has been the fastest growing emissions source.

Since more than half of the cars on the road belong to companies, the new EV100 coalition could have a major impact.  It aims to do for EVs and electric car charging infrastructure what coalitions such as the RE100 are already doing to encourage corporate purchasing of clean energy (and thus motivating development of new solar and wind power).

EV100's goal is to send a signal to automakers that there is mass demand for electric vehicles before 2030, when current forecasts suggest global uptake will start to really ramp up.

"We want to make electric transport the normal," said Helen Clarkson, CEO for The Climate Group, the international nonprofit spearheading the effort.
Sam Abuelsamid, a Detroit-based senior analyst for Navigant Research, said many corporate fleets are in a position to go plug-in by 2030.  He predicted the concept will catch fire over the next couple of years:  "By 2020 I would expect that most fleets that can will probably commit to it," he said.
The Playing Field Has Changed, Despite Trump
Roland Hwang, who runs the Natural Resources Defense Council's energy and transportation program, said the new EV100 campaign is timely given the Trump administration's effort to delay or undo tighter U.S. fuel economy standards.  "An EV100—a big corporate commitment towards EVs—is exactly what is needed at this point.  We are on that tipping point, and we could easily stall," Hwang said.
By 2050, Hwang said, the U.S. could be sourcing 70 percent of its power from wind and solar, with hydropower and nuclear energy making up most of the balance, and battery-powered EVs could be 85 percent of new vehicles sold that year.  As power grid emissions fall, EV emissions will drop with them.  "We're not looking at today's power plants," Hwang said, "we're looking at tomorrow's."

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