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The Drive Electric Campaign: 100% electric road transportation for the world

The Drive Electric Campaign: 100% electric road transportation for the world

We are excited to announce the Drive Electric Campaign, a global effort to achieve 100% electric road transportation for the benefit of the climate, health and justice, and the economy.

Today’s combustion-based transportation system is inequitable, expensive, and contributes to enormous costs to the climate and our health.

The Drive Electric Campaign believes that a better future is possible. The rapid transition to electric vehicles (EVs) of all types — cars, vans, trucks, buses, and two- and three-wheelers, and e-bikes — can eliminate billions of tons of harmful emissions, save hundreds of thousands of lives per year, and prevent millions of cases of respiratory disease caused by pollution from combustion vehicles. 

EVs also help the economy by creating opportunities for new investments and jobs in manufacturing and infrastructure — saving people money on fuel and maintenance, reducing oil demand that distorts geopolitics and the balance of trade, enabling greater renewable power generation, and avoiding trillions of dollars of climate-related damages linked to the burning of fossil fuels. Simply put, the electrification of road transportation vehicles is one of the most powerful, globally scalable solutions we have available now to achieve climate objectives while delivering a more equitable and just transportation system.

We know there is still a long way to go before we reach 100%. We are also increasingly confident we can win. Recent progress, supported by our partners, has created unprecedented momentum.

For example, over 100 national, state, and city governments representing nearly one-fifth of global transport demand have committed to 100% emission-free transport. They are banding together through initiatives like the International ZEV Alliance, Green and Healthy Streets, Global Drive 2 Zero, the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Transition Council, the ZEV Community, and many others to pursue joint action on regulations and incentives to accelerate EV supply, demand, and infrastructure. 

The private sector is stepping up as well. Vehicle manufacturers are investing hundreds of billions of dollars to bring new EV products to market and making commitments to shift to 100% zero-emission vehicle production by 2035 or earlier. Utilities are investing to enable charging infrastructure that can improve the integration of renewable power generation and provide benefits for all utility customers.  Over 100 companies representing a fleet of over 4.8 million vehicles have committed to 100% electrification by 2030, including Baidu, DHL, Lyft, Leaseplan, IKEA, Ryder, Swiss Post, and the State Bank of India, among others. 

Bigger, more powerful, and more diverse people-powered coalitions representing health, environment, business, labor, and frontline communities are banding together to demand stronger regulations and a better future. It’s working. In many countries, especially those with strong policy support, EV sales are trending rapidly upward even during the pandemic. With a sustained and concerted global effort, a tipping point is within reach as soon as 2025, when EVs could outcompete combustion vehicles on price, convenience, and performance. 

Still, a complete transition at the speed and scale needed to save the climate is neither easy, nor inevitable. Those invested in the status quo are increasing their opposition and the risk is that, if we continue with business as usual or fall prey to the forces of inaction, the vast majority of vehicles will still run on polluting fossil fuels in 30 years, with dire consequences for the climate, public health, and the economy. As the world faces a decisive decade to put us on the path to a stable climate, now is the time to build on current momentum and pursue a bold campaign to overcome the remaining barriers and secure the path to a 100% zero-emission road transportation future.

Achieving this promising future requires systems change on a global scale. The Drive Electric Campaign collaborates with a diverse set of partners, including NGOs, foundations, and coalitions representing key stakeholders from government, business, and civil society, and focuses on three interconnected strategies:

  1. Supporting smart government policies that overcome barriers and grow the EV market, such as emission standards and EV sales targets for automakers, purchase incentives for consumers, public EV procurement, and many others.
  2. Encouraging business leadership and engagement such as by electrifying their fleets, supporting their employees and customers to adopt EVs, mobilizing finance and investors, engaging vehicle manufacturers to commit to a transition toward 100% zero-emission vehicle production, and increasing coordinated action and business support for key government policies.
  3. Engaging people power to drive transformative change by supporting diverse organizations and coalitions representing health, environment, labor, consumers, and business, and elevating the voices of communities affected by transportation pollution.

By working in partnership, the campaign takes a systems approach to secure commitments and actions that will put us on the path toward all new vehicle sales to be zero-emission by:

  • 2030 for city and school buses and two- and three-wheelers;
  • 2035 for passenger vehicles; and
  • 2040 for freight trucks.

The end of polluting road transportation is within sight. But whether it happens in time to save the climate and fully realize the large potential social benefits depends on the actions we take together today. We invite you all to be a part of this movement to deliver a better future for our climate, health, and economy. To find out more, visit the Drive Electric Campaign website, which will be a hub for the campaign’s activities, highlighting the accomplishments of our partners and the growing momentum toward a 100% zero-emission road transportation future. This initial landing page launched today is just a start, and will expand over time. Sign up and join us for this journey.

Published May 21, 2021

Stay up to date! More information about the Drive Electric Campaign is coming this spring.

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