At the moment, the reduction in vehicle emissions is paramount. Transport is one of the sectors that can contribute the most to climate change (30% of CO2 emissions come from transport in the US and 20% in Europe).
The main drivers that will make this transition towards electric mobility a reality are the advances on batteries – lower costs and longer battery lives – and charging infrastructures in our country.
LeasePlan’s 2017 Mobility Monitor indicates that 52 per cent of drivers surveyed would consider getting a low-emissions lease vehicle on their next upgrade. This is a significant figure that can only encourage companies and institutions to work together towards sustainability in a sector that generates 10% of the GDP in Spain. While the Public Administrations must help by providing an appropriate taxation structure that drives development and promotes air quality, the automobile industry and the lease sector have a large task ahead of them to raise awareness in society, promoting better knowledge of the technologies that will give shape to the mobility of the future: EV, PHEV, hydrogen vehicles, etc.
In this regard, LeasePlan has taken a step forward and joined the EV100 initiative, driven by the Climate Group. This is a global initiative aimed at accelerating the incorporation of electric vehicles into company fleets. All of the signatories –which include companies like Unilever, Ikea and HP – have promised to upgrade their company vehicle fleets to electric by 2030. LeasePlan is the only automobile company that has joined the project, which was announced in the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York in September 2017.
Tex Gunning, LeasePlan CEO, says: “in order to help the environment and reduce CO2 emissions, companies don’t have to change their strategy or their R&D. They just have to say: we will go electric in the next two, three or four years. That way, we will be able to improve the quality of the air we breathe in big cities”.
Driving change together
Achieving better air quality and putting an end to climate change is no longer an option, it is an obligation for all sectors and public administrations. For it to happen, the authorities of the large cities in Europe and Spain are already proposing urban traffic restrictions for the most polluting vehicles, and establishing low emissions zones to improve the quality of the air we breathe. At the moment, the cities at the forefront of these measures are Oslo, which since January 2017 has banned diesel vehicles two days a week, and Amsterdam, which has banned all diesel vehicles from before the year 2000 from the city centre.
Spanish cities are also starting to increase restrictions on the most polluting vehicles. Madrid and Barcelona have already imposed restrictive measures on days with high levels of pollution, and they are looking into the possibility of banning diesel cars older than 10 years old from entering the city centre. It is estimated that more than 200 cities in Europe already have or will soon have some type of restriction.
LeasePlan is working to develop and implement an electric mobility solution in Spain, which we will be able to give more information about in the second quarter of 2018.