3 June 2021
Ahead of major upcoming initiatives on electrifying mobility by the European Commission, the undersigned organisations have come together to call for clear measures that fast-track the electrification of corporate and urban fleets (henceforth ‘fleets’). We represent a broad cross-section of industries and those working within and around them, including ride-hailing, logistics, electrification and tech, alongside leading campaigners from civil society and think tanks.
From taxis and ride-hailing to last-mile goods and services delivery, these fleets and professional drivers can have an outsized positive climate impact, given the much higher number of vehicle-kilometres driven annually compared to regular vehicle owners. As such, high-kilometre drivers can significantly contribute to European Green Deal goals of cutting transport emissions by 90% compared to 1990 levels and delivering climate neutrality across the European Union (EU) by 2050.
While we support the principle of technological neutrality, electrification is today the most scalable technology that can facilitate decarbonisation of these use cases. We were therefore very much encouraged by and strongly support the European Commission’s Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy which rightly recognizes the need for policies to prioritize electrification of fleets. As most EV charging happens at home or work, and considering that 40% of EU citizens live in apartment buildings, it is crucial that the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive includes a ‘right to plug’ for owners and tenants. We urge the Commission to maintain this approach in the upcoming reviews of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure and Energy Performance of Buildings Directives as well as the new Urban Mobility Framework.
With the right policies, fleets electrification can multiply emissions-saving benefits and trigger a virtuous circle for electric mobility, creating demand which can accelerate EV infrastructure rollout and reduce EV costs for professional drivers:
- Fleets represent 20% of the total European vehicle population but travel more than 40% of total vehicle kilometres on average – in on-demand passenger mobility up to four times more.
- A focus on electrification of fleets should help improve equitable access to electric vehicles (EVs), bringing affordable overnight charging infrastructure to underserved neighbourhoods. Some areas are currently heavily underserved and represent major gaps in the EV charging infrastructure.
- Due to higher utilization, fleets and professional drivers turnover vehicles more frequently than average vehicles owners. Their increased demand for EVs will help create economies of scale for vehicle manufacturers and contribute to lower vehicle costs over time. It can also help effectively kickstart a secondary EV market which will further improve access to affordable EVs for all.
However, most current policies and incentives on EVs across the EU fail to focus on vehicle usage – which has the potential to displace the largest amount of fossil-fuel kilometres – and instead focus primarily on personal vehicle ownership.
As a result, professional drivers often face higher financial barriers to an EV switch than average consumers. Due to limited access to affordable or second-hand EVs, lack of a usage and emissions-based approach to charges and subsidies, and the scarcity of consistently deployed overnight public slow charging, professional drivers are typically worse off driving an EV than a fossil-fuel vehicle in most European cities today. For instance, ride-hailing drivers risk losing up to a third of earnings due to charging downtime, particularly if they are not able to charge overnight.
Upcoming EU policies on e-mobility should be aimed at stimulating wide-spread supply and uptake of affordable Zero-Emission Vehicles and are a unique opportunity to tackle obstacles and green Europe’s fleets, delivering the benefits of zero-emission technologies to drivers and the communities they serve. To ensure a fair transition, the undersigned organisations are calling for:
Adequate and equitable deployment of charging infrastructure:
- Specific focus on high-kilometre use cases under the new Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive; including ambitious targets for ultra-fast charging hubs in all medium and large urban areas;
- Dedicated recommendations for professional drivers as part of a focus on urban mobility fleets in the EU charging infrastructure strategic rollout plan, accompanying the review of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive. This should include recommendations on the use of national recovery plans and existing EU mechanisms to provide funding support, financial incentives and use-based subsidies for professional drivers, as an interim measure to facilitate the transition leaving no driver behind;
- Fast and easy installation of charge points in all buildings with more than one unit under the new Energy Performance of Buildings Directive; including a ‘right-to-plug’ for everyone living in multi-tenant buildings and may require on-street charging nearby their residence
- Specific guidance on the ‘right to plug’ for high-kilometre drivers in the upcoming EU Urban Mobility Strategy.
Increased EV supply and affordability for professional drivers, particularly from less wealthy areas:
- Policy playbook for electrification of fleets (tax incentives, road charging, subsidies) based on emission savings, together with concrete fleet targets in the upcoming EU Urban Mobility Strategy.
- A targeted approach to supporting an economically fair transition for corporate and urban fleets, and professional drivers can deliver outsized public benefit from a climate, social and economic perspective. We stand ready to work with the European Commission and other EU institutions to support and implement these policies for the benefit of drivers and European cities.
The 14 organisations supporting the initiative include a variety of stakeholders, including Business Associations from different sectors, NGOs, International Organisations and Think Tanks.
appyway – Kerbside Management, Mobility & Parking Solutions for drivers; Aseval Madrid – Business Association of Vehicle Rental With and Without Driver; AVERE – European Association for Electromobility; – Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA Europe); ChargeUp Europe – Voice of the EV Charging Infrastructure Industry; Ecommerce Europe – European Digital Commerce Association; Eurelectric – Federation for the European Electricity Industry; Move EU – European Association of On-Demand Mobility; SME Europe – Strong Voice for Europe’s SMEs; SME Global – Global Think Tank & Political Network advocating for SMEs; SYSTEMIQ – Systems Change Think Tank; Transport & Environment – Europe’s Leading Clean Transport Campaign Group; wirfahren.de – Rental Car Services Initiative; ZEUF – Stakeholder network for accelerating Urban Fleets Electrification