National, regional, state and city governments in the UK, US, Canada and Mexico have pledged to convert their fleets to zero-emission vehicles by 2040. The voluntary commitment is part of the Climate Group’s newly launched ZEV Pledge initiative.
The new ZEV Pledge initiative currently involves a total of 121,355 vehicles, almost a third of which are medium or heavy-duty vehicles. Governments at all levels, including individual departments, agencies and public sector bodies, can pledge to convert their entire owned or leased fleets to zero-emission vehicles – and set a target date to do so.
At present, the list of signatories includes nine locations in the UK and North America. The UK government has made a commitment to 100% zero-emission light commercial vehicles (vehicles with more than four wheels) by 2027, the Scottish government to the same target by 2035, and only zero-emission heavy commercial vehicles by 2040.
In Mexico, the state of Jalisco is committing to 100% zero-emission buses by 2030. In Canada, the provinces of Quebec and British Columbia are committing to 100% zero-emission light-duty vehicles by 2035 and 100% zero-emission medium and heavy-duty vehicles by 2040.
South of the border, in the US, the state of California wants only zero-emission buses on the road by 2030, light-duty vehicles by 2035, and medium and heavy-duty vehicles by 2040. The states of New York and Washington are also aiming for 100% zero-emission light-duty vehicles by 2035 and only zero-emission medium and heavy-duty vehicles by 2040. And the City of New York is following suit with the goal for zero-emission medium and heavy-duty vehicles by 2040.
“More than half a billion vehicles on the road are owned or operated by governments, public sector organisations and businesses. There is huge potential to use this collective purchasing power to drive the auto market towards a cleaner future,” said Sandra Roling, Head of Transport at the Climate Group.
The Climate Group is best known for its EV100 initiative, in which large companies commit to completely electrifying their fleets by 2030. Currently, 120 multinational companies are participating. The ZEV Pledge initiative is designed to complement the COP26 agreement, in which more than 30 countries, 11 carmakers and other partners issued a joint declaration to move away from the internal combustion engine.