COP27 draws to a close with a renewed sense of urgency to speeding up our EV transition

November 18, 2022

COP27 draws to a close with a renewed sense of urgency to speeding up our EV transition

Following Antonio Guterres warning that we “are on a highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator”, yesterday saw the first annual update on the Zero Emissions Vehicles Declaration with confirmation that a total of 214 new signatories have joined the declaration.  Since COP26 there has been a global growth of 95% across the electric vehicles market yet, to meet our goals, climate experts say we need to transition at a rate of five times faster for passenger vehicles, 10 times faster for electric buses, and even more rapidly for freight. 

According to Infinium’s estimates, each ICE LCV delivery vehicle that transitions to EV saves around 4.8 Tonnes of CO2 per year (1).  This means that the UK alone could reduce its emissions by 3.5 million tonnes of CO2 a year if it was to transition its entire logistics fleet.  This is a game changer when put in perspective that CO2 emissions from transport have only gone down by around 4.6% over the last 30 years. 

CO2 ICE Van

To coin the sentiments of our PM, “we can turn our struggle against climate change into a global mission for new jobs and clean growth.  And we can bequeath our children a greener planet and a more prosperous future.”   

The Accelerating to Zero coalition (A2Z) was also launched at COP27 will host the ZEV declaration in the future.

The A2Z coalition will:

  • provide a platform to support coordination between leading initiatives
  • signpost to implementation support for signatories to access
  • amplify the progress being made as well as the continued urgency to advance the transition from polluting vehicles to ZEVs

In the UK, we are starting to see more of take up of electric vehicles.  But this transition is not straight forward or at the rate needed.  BEV uptake grew by less than the overall market for the first time since the pandemic, meaning October is the first month to see BEV market share fall year on year since May 2021, primarily attributable to supply challenges.  This only brings the total number of electric LCVs to around 30,000, just 4.5% of the overall total number.  

However, according to new research by Churchill Expert, Direct Line Group’s flexible fleet insurance specialist, released yesterday, more than three-quarters (78%) of fleet managers aim to convert their entire fleet to electric vehicles before the Government’s 2030 ICE ban with 56% of fleet vehicles expected to be either electric or hybrid by 2025. 

Many delivery organisations have now set their roadmap goals. Amazon reported in October this year that it will invest £300 million in its UK EV network as part of a £880 million Europe package. By 2030, DHL will have 80,000 e-vehicles deployed for last-mile deliveries, resulting in 60% electrification of its fleet. And DPD, who operates more than 10,000 vehicles from 84 locations and delivers over 400 million parcels a year, has announced plans to have over 3,000 electric vehicles on the road in the UK this year and 5,000 by 2023, when it will be delivering to 30 towns and cities through all-electric vehicles. 

The initial cost of an electric vehicle may be higher than an internal combustion engine equivalent, but it’s important to consider the total costs. For example, electricity costs less per mile than petrol or diesel.  Within some areas, electric vehicles can travel freely within Ultra Low Emissions Zones (ULEZ) and Clean Air Zones (CAZ) without any penalty, and these zones are set to continue to grow.  And an electric vehicle has less parts and less components to wear or fail, reducing long-term running and maintenance costs. Making the transition to EV will come with many challenges, but with good planning around software, locations, infrastructure and services, each transition should be an exciting journey.  

Electrifying all road transportation, powered by clean energy, provides one of the most powerful and globally scalable ways to achieve a safer climate. According to the Drive Electric Campaign, we can eliminate over 165 billion tons of carbon pollution, avoiding an estimated $6+ trillion in climate damages to cities, villages, and our planet’s ecosystems.  Now is the time to act, not just to protect our planet but the viability of our sector. 

  1. DfT statistical research (Final Van Statistics) and Ford CO2 average emissions based on 4100 Ford Transit models

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