Zero operating emissions - Sustainable deliveries05/06/2022
The UN now says that “delaying cuts in heat-trapping carbon emissions and waiting on adapting to warming’s impacts will miss a brief and rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a livable and sustainable future for all.”
Climate change is of course a complex and global issue. It's reasonable to think that no individual, business, or local government has the power to solve it. Alone, that's a fair assumption. But acting together, a different reality emerges.
The EV Revolution
Electric vehicles may be a recognized path to combat climate change. But why are they so popular?
The answer is quite simple. The transportation sector is the largest direct source of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. More than half of that comes from personal and commercial vehicles. Attempting to address climate change without addressing the way we move people and goods seems like the wrong approach.
The International Energy Agency says reaching a trajectory consistent with its Sustainable Development Scenario requires putting 230 million EVs on the world’s roads by 2030. Eight years isn’t much time. For EVs to have the proper impact, we need a mass adoption of electric vehicles. But how?
Focus on Cities
Turning our attention to cities helps create a vision for how this can happen in such a short time. Even though cities account for just 2% of the world’s land mass, they are home to 55% of its population and 70% of global CO2 emissions. The U.S. alone is home to three of the 10 cities worldwide with the largest carbon footprints - Chicago (8), Los Angeles (5), and New York City (3).
And cities are doing what they can to influence behavior change at scale.
As of February 2022, 35 of the 50 most populated U.S. cities have adopted local climate action plans. These plans include creating far more robust electric charging infrastructure. They also include concepts such as low- and zero-emission zones (ZEZs). These zones only grant access to vehicles that are more sustainable. Other cities are only permitting non-sustainable vehicle access in exchange for steep fees.
These programs are still largely in their infancy. But several dozen cities, most of them in Europe, have launched or announced plans to launch such zones.
And they work. Oslo, Norway – the first city in the world to try such a program in the mid-1990s – offers a great example. Nine out of 10 cars sold in Norway to start 2022 were electric.
Even so, some cities control just 4% of their carbon emissions. Regulations alone can’t achieve the necessary reductions. Cities need help from another impactful group of decision makers.
Companies Doing Their Part
One of the most influential factions in the fight against climate change will be corporations. While that seems concerning to some activists, it’s good news. Because businesses that transition away from gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles aren’t just doing it for the planet, and not just for good PR. It’s good business.
Vehicles powered by electricity – including commercial trucks - are more likely to be efficient to operate over the life of the vehicle. They don’t need any oil, spark plugs, transmission fluid, timing belt replacements or oil changes. And, according to the Department of Energy, it costs less than half as much to drive an electric vehicle than a regular gasoline vehicle in the U.S. today.
So, when you consider that at least one fifth of the world’s 2,000 largest public companies, including General Motors, have now made some kind of “net zero” pledge to cancel out their carbon emissions, it’s easy to envision that electrification of their fleets will play a major role.
When you consider the differences between how delivery vehicles are used compared to personal vehicles, it’s clear that the opportunities for savings are abundant. Delivery vehicles are often serving routes throughout the day on a daily basis. The cost savings from fuel alone is reason to consider a change.
For example, BrightDrop Zevo Electric Van customers enjoy zero tailpipe emissions on routes of up to 250 miles per charge. This can save them more than $7k per unit in annual operating expenses compared to a diesel alternative!*
A Moral and Economic Imperative
Of course, there’s no better time to act than right now when it comes to preventing the worst of climate change. But we know business decisions have to happen at the right time. Whenever that is, don’t allow business-as-usual to keep you from enjoying the benefits of going electric.
Electric fleets offer the promise of long-term operational and maintenance savings. They help you avoid any surprise costs of stricter environmental regulations in urban centers. And they're the right thing to invest in for the future of our planet.
Competing priorities for our attention and resources are everywhere. However, that’s no excuse for turning a blind eye to the challenges on our collective doorstep.
Want to learn more about how BrightDrop’s electric vehicles can help your business and the planet? Reach out today!
*Estimated based on assumptions for fuel costs, miles traveled, maintenance and cargo load. May vary based on use case.