When we celebrated Earth Day in April, we discussed the dramatic change in global air quality that resulted from reduced traffic during lockdown. We now know how quickly the air we breathe can be cleansed of pollution and greenhouse gases. More and more countries are, as a result, passing laws and directives to greatly reduce emissions. The EU, for example, has committed to reducing CO2 emissions by 55% by 2030. A fundamental (and strongly funded) aspect to achieve this goal is the electrification of vehicles. That will greatly impact delivery and logistics fleets, which have seen their fortunes soar in the past year — a trend that is expected to continue even as the world reopens.
In fact, 24 European cities (with a total population of 62 million residents) plan to ban the sale of new diesel and petrol vehicles within the decade. With restrictions starting as soon as 2024, some of the world’s biggest fleets, including Amazon, FedEx, PepsiCo and UPS, have already begun accelerating last-mile electric delivery fleet pilots. What does that mean for the industry? That’s a good question and one we sought to answer by partnering with GreenBiz on their new report, "The Time Is Now: Why Global Delivery and Logistics Fleets Are Going Electric." What we discovered was enlightening, to say the least.
In one-on-one interviews with fleet leaders and researchers this past spring, experts from the aforementioned brands, as well as BloombergNEF, The Climate Group, IKEA and others, discussed lessons learned and the advantages of electrifying now. They cited a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) for EVs, new and upcoming incentive programs (including the American Jobs Plan) and customer demand for sustainable alternatives, among other reasons. We’re facing an innovation revolution in transportation, the scale of which most people can’t yet comprehend. As Angela Hultberg, head of Sustainable Mobility at IKEA put it, “If you are not on this journey, you are at real risk of being left behind."