Some of the largest corporations in America have joined the Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance, an organization started by the non-profit Ceres to support greater commercial EV adoption. DHL, Amazon, AT&T, Clif Bar, Consumers Energy, Direct Energy, Genentech, IKEA North America, LeasePlan, Lime, and Siemens are Alliance members.
There are well over one million EVs in the US and most are used for personal transportation. Corporate fleets can be huge — Amazon reportedly will order 100,000 electric delivery vans from Rivian, for example. Increasing corporate EV adoption is an important part of supporting sustainable transportation. Replacing gas-powered light-duty, medium-duty, and heavy-duty vehicles with electric ones is an excellent way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and toxic air pollution. Sue Reid, Ceres’ Vice President of Climate & Energy, answered some questions for CleanTechnica about the Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance.
Why did Ceres form the Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance?
Transportation is the highest-emitting sector in the US when it comes to greenhouse gases. If we’re going to tackle the climate crisis, as we must, we need to fundamentally transform transportation — and that means transitioning to electric vehicles. Companies manage a significant portion of vehicles on the road in the US and are highly visible leaders, meaning they are well positioned to lead the transition — reducing their emissions while tapping into the myriad benefits of EVs such as reduced fuel and maintenance costs.
Many major companies want to go electric, and some have made major commitments to do so. The market, however, isn’t yet making available all the EV models that companies need. With this new effort, we are looking to leverage the companies’ collective demand for EVs across vehicle classes and models, drive economies of scale, and accelerate the maturation of the market for EVs across light, medium and heavy-duty vehicles.
That’s where the Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance comes in. We formed the Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance to help accelerate growth of the electric vehicle market, bringing companies together to signal aggregate demand to automakers, to advocate for transportation policies that enable the adoption of EVs, and to provide a platform for companies with vehicle fleets to share best practices around vehicle and fleet electrification.
What are some of the Alliance’s key goals?
The primary goal is to spur increased production of new and increased volumes of diverse EV models, to grow the EV market and improve economies of scale, as well as to accelerate the adoption of policies that support electric vehicles. We’re also focused on fostering peer-to-peer learning with regard to industry best practices.
How will the corporate members benefit?
Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance members will enjoy access to a collaborative community of fleet managers and sustainability experts who are interested in or actively working to electrify their corporate fleet. They’ll learn from one another through regular Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance convenings, and have access to key resources and expertise at Ceres and through our partners. Most of all, they’ll gain significant benefits by helping to further catalyze the growth of the electric vehicle market — enabling them to electrify their vehicle fleets more quickly and seamlessly, and position themselves for resilience and success in a carbon-constrained world.
How can the Alliance work with state and federal policy makers to bring more EVs to market?
As we do through our Ceres Policy Network (BICEP), the Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance will work to mobilize company advocacy around electric vehicles. We provide companies with the tools and knowledge they need to effectively engage with state and federal policymakers around clean transportation policies that matter to them, and that we know are essential to creating a clean, smart and equitable transportation system.
Some key policy priorities members of the Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance might choose to collaboratively pursue include the following:
- The Transportation and Climate Initiative, currently under consideration by 12 states and the District of Columbia.
- State level policies to increase the number of electric vehicles on the road and expand charging infrastructure.
- State adoption of Advanced Clean Car (ACC) Standards, including both the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program and the Low-Emission Vehicle (LEV) standard.
- Extension and expansion of the federal EV tax credit.
What are some of the economic benefits corporations can enjoy by switching their fleets from gas-powered to electric vehicles?
EVs present significant benefits to companies — including reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, robust cost savings on fuel and maintenance, freedom from reliance on volatile oil and gas prices, improved passenger safety, enhanced company reputation, and improved workforce recruitment and retention.