Acting as #ZEVChallenge, 26 cities, states, regions and businesses took advantage of this week's Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco to reveal co-ordinated plans to deploy zero emission vehicle (ZEV) fleets throughout the 2020s.



A Tesla electric car charging in Seattle, Washington (Photo by Scooter Lowrimore)


The states and cities involved represent more than 122 million people


The initiative brings together existing electric vehicle programs from the Under2 Coalition of states, the C40 group of cities, and the EV100 campaign from the Climate Group, which lobbies businesses to switch to 100 percent EV fleets.


The organizers said the aim of the joint announcement is to signal the auto industry that there is "significant and growing demand" for zero emission models, if they can be delivered at scale and at competitive cost.


The Under2 Coalition is driven by a group of ambitious state and regional governments committed to keeping global temperature rises to under 2°C. It includes more than 220 governments, who represent over 1.3 billion people and 43 percent of the global economy.


The Climate Group is the Secretariat to the Under2 Coalition and works with governments to accelerate climate action.


Zero emission areas in cities appear poised to become a global phenomenon as 12 more cities confirm their ZEV commitment, including the Asian megacities of Tokyo and Seoul.


The latest commitments to accelerate the rollout of EVs come from regions such as the Australian Capital Territory, The Basque Country, Quebec, and the State of California; cities including Birmingham, Greater Manchester, Honolulu, Medellin, Seoul, Tokyo, and Warsaw; and businesses Clif Bar and Delta Electronics.


They propel the number of local governments and businesses that have publicly set ZEV targets to over 60. Their leaders explained why they are committed to zero emission vehicles.


Jay Inslee, Governor of Washington State, said, "By 2020 we’re committing to having a fleet of 50,000 zero emission vehicles. For 2030 we plan to go further and are targeting 100 percent zero emission vehicles as part of the Under2 Coalition Zero Emissions Vehicle commitment."


Stefano Bonaccini, President of northern Italy's Emilia-Romagna Region, said, “I strongly believe that the transition to ZEV mobility is the most important commitment of my government for the years to come."


"We are achieving this aim through a series of actions: incentives, regulatory acts, electric mobility promotion initiatives and agreements with municipalities and energy providers, but also through the collective involvement of all regional stakeholders engaged in making Emilia-Romagna a zero-emission Region.”


Cities are putting EV policies in places designed to fight air pollution, improve the quality of life for all citizens, and help tackle the global threat of climate change.


Mayor Federico Gutierrez Zuluaga, who governs the City of Medellín, Colombia, wants to replace all diesel or gasoline vehicles in the public transport fleet with 100 percent electrical vehicles.


“Our purpose is to become the capital of electric mobility in Latin America to positively impact the welfare of our people," said Mayor Zuluaga.


Oslo, Norway's leader Mayor Marianne Borgen said, “Our climate ambition is to reduce emissions 95 percent by 2030. Transportation is our biggest challenge. We need to rapidly accelerate a transformation to zero-emission mobility. Sales of EVs are boosting in Oslo; 43 percent of all new cars sold in the first quarter of 2018 were battery-electric."


"It’s a result of the national government making zero-emission cars cheaper, and Oslo making it cheap and easy to drive, park and charge an EV," said Mayor Borgen.


Twelve cities: Birmingham (UK), Greater Manchester, Honolulu, Medellin, Oslo, Oxford, Rotterdam, Santa Monica, Seoul, Tokyo, Warsaw, West Hollywood, representing over 34 million people, joined the Green & Healthy Streets group.


By signing the C40 Green & Healthy Streets Declaration, these cities' leaders pledged to procure only zero-emission buses from 2025 and ensure that a major area of their city is zero emission by 2030.


These cities join the 14 already committed to Green & Healthy Streets: Paris, London, Los Angeles, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Quito, Vancouver, Cape Town, Seattle, Mexico City, Auckland, Milan, Rome and Heidelberg.


Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, Mayor of Warsaw, said, “Over 10 years ago, we decided to become a municipal leader in the field of sustainable development. Not only in Poland but also in the region, that is Central Europe. The key to sustainability in cities is modern transportation: energy-efficient, intermodal and based on public services."


On Wednesday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the launch of the Climate Mayors EV Purchasing Collaborative, an unprecedented collaboration of U.S. cities committed to rapidly converting municipal fleets to electric, through the creation of a new, one-stop  platform,


The new Climate Mayors platform leverages cities’ collective buying power to deliver, together with partners the Electrification Coalition, the tools, resources and expertise needed to rapidly transition city fleets.


At launch, 19 founding Climate Mayors cities committed to purchase more than 300 EVs in the first year with greater numbers expected in future years.


By Sunny Lewis

Environment News Service (ENS)

September 14, 2018