Six companies helping to create the zero-carbon transport futureThe We Mean Business coalition
The transition to the net-zero carbon transport future is vital to help eliminate the growing emissions from the sector and unlock new opportunities. We look at how six companies are helping accelerate this transition with bold climate action.
The transport sector currently accounts for 23% of global energy-related CO2 emissions and is the fastest-growing contributor to climate change, according to the IEA. And the health impacts of ICE vehicles is widespread – nine out of 10 people breathe air containing high levels of pollutants, including that from transport, data from the World Health Organization shows.
However, an increasing number of companies are turning the problem into an opportunity. From leading automakers committing to end the production of internal combustion engine (ICE) cars to global logistics companies committing to transition their fleet to electric vehicles (EVs).
Here we delve into six companies, highlighting some of the key actions being taken to tackle emissions and create the zero-carbon transport future.
Daimler commits to carbon neutrality
Daimler AG – one of the world’s leading producers of premium cars and commercial vehicles – demonstrated leadership earlier this year with its bold commitment to make its entire passenger car fleet carbon neutral by the close of 2039.
The goal will see the Mercedes-Benz owner transform its entire operations – from the 2.4 million cars it produces annually (2018), to its production plants around the world and its supply chain – over the next two decades.
As part of this latest commitment, Daimler is striving for carbon-neutral production, using its Factory 56 in Sindelfingen, Germany, or its engine factory in Jawor, Poland, as blueprints for how to use renewable energy and start carbon-neutral from the beginning.
“Let’s be clear what this means for us: a fundamental transformation of our company within less than three product cycles. That’s not much time when you consider that fossil fuels have dominated our business since the invention of the car by Carl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler some 130 years ago,” Daimler CEO Ola Källenius said.
Daimler’s commitment to climate action is already impacting its carbon footprint. The company’s total CO2 emissions declined 9.2% from 3,231 tons in 2015 to 2,934 tons in 2018. During the same period, Daimler’s revenue increased 12% from €149.5 billion to €167.4 billion.
Volvo phases out ICE-only models
Last year, Volvo Cars became the first major automaker to pledge to phase out vehicles powered solely by internal combustion engines. After 2019, the Swedish-headquartered car maker will only produce either fully electric or hybrid models, as it moves to electrify its entire fleet.
Also last year, Volvo Cars’ engine factory in Skövde, Sweden, became the company’s first climate-neutral manufacturing plant, having switched to renewable heating. Volvo aims to build on this progress and be climate neutral in terms of CO2 across all its manufacturing operations by 2025.
The strategy is starting to yield results. The company’s sales of electrified vehicles in 2018 increased by 65% compared to 2017, to 103,722 from 68,936. And the company is making progress on emissions. In 2018, total CO2 emissions declined 17% to 158,500 tons, from 188,900 tons in 2017. CO2 emissions per manufactured vehicle have been down in Europe every year since 2015.
Tesla breaks new ground
No look at the transition to zero-carbon transport would be complete without mentioning Tesla – the world’s biggest electric car company, by number of units sold.
By acting as a pioneer in the EV market, Tesla has helped to change the perceptions around EVs and gained sizable market share from established rivals in the process. In the US, the Model 3 accounted for 67% of all EV sales in the second quarter and was the ninth best selling car in the US overall.
Tesla calculates that the 550,000 Tesla vehicles that have been sold have driven over 10 billion miles to date. This resulted in a combined savings of over 4 million metric tons of CO2 through fuel savings, equivalent to cutting the emissions of over 500,000 ICE vehicles with a fuel economy of 22 miles per gallon (MPG), according to the company.
Tesla is also committed to making significant progress towards its goal of operating global Tesla manufacturing, vehicle charging and other operations using 100% renewable energy. As of February 2019, Tesla Energy has installed over 3.5 GW of solar installations and has cumulatively generated over 13 TWh of emissions-free electricity.
These are just three of the hundreds of automakers actively developing EVs. In fact, virtually all of the world’s major automakers have committed to electrify part or all of their fleet, with hundreds of new electric models planned, while forward-looking producers are also seeking to drastically cut emissions from their factories and supply chains.
In total, global automakers are planning a $300 billion surge in spending on electric vehicle technology over the next five to 10 years, with nearly half of the money targeted at China. That’s more than three times the level of just a year ago when global automakers said they planned to spend $90 billion on electric vehicle development.
Meanwhile, a growing number of leading companies are helping to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles. To date, over 50 multinational companies are making electric transport the new normal by 2030 through EV100, led by The Climate Group.
IKEA aims for 100% of home deliveries by EV
IKEA Group (owned by Ingka Group) has set a bold target to secure 100% zero-emission home deliveries by 2025, starting with major cities like Amsterdam, Los Angeles, New York, Paris and Shanghai by 2020.
As part of this vision, and the company’s commitment to EV100, IKEA has already deployed electric vehicles in Australia, China, France and India.
In addition, IKEA is committed to providing access to EV charging stations at its stores, offices and distribution centers in 30 markets by 2020. In 2018, 65% of IKEA’s network of over 400 stories had electric vehicle charging points.
DHL delivers a bold vision
One of the world’s largest mail and logistics companies, Deutsche Post DHL Group, is harnessing the power of electric vehicles to transform how it delivers goods around the world.
DHL has committed to reduce logistics-related emissions from its fleet of delivery vehicles to zero by the year 2050. As part of this effort, the company aims to operate 70% of its own first and last mile services with clean pick-up and delivery solutions, such as electric bicycles and vans by 2025.
The effort is already delivering results, as DHL has increased its carbon efficiency by 33%, compared to 2007 levels, as part of its target to increase carbon efficiency by 50% by 2025.
When DHL was looking for a suitable delivery vehicle that could handle its requirements while producing zero emissions, it couldn’t find one. So DHL designed and built its own bespoke electric delivery van, in partnership with Ford, called StreetScooter, which it now sells to other companies that are looking to reduce emissions.
LeasePlan is transitioning its fleet of 1.8 million
Netherlands-based car leasing company LeasePlan has 1.8 million vehicles on the road and is committed to transitioning those to net-zero emissions by 2030. In addition, the company is aiming to reach 100% EVs for its employee fleet by 2021.
The company is also helping its customers ensure they have the right charging options to hand.
In July, LeasePlan announced a new partnership with Allego to provide its customers with access to personal charge points at home and at work, giving them access to more than 65,000 charging points across Europe.
These companies and many more recognise that the rapid transition to a zero-carbon transport system is not only the right path to help bend the curve of emissions, but it’s also good for business and helping to open new opportunities.
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