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Zenith and Lex join EV100; pledge to reduce CO2

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Zenith and Lex Autolease have joined the EV100 and announced ambitious plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across their fleets.

FN50 leader Lex says it will achieve net zero emissions across its customer fleet by 2030 and will switch the entire Lloyds Banking Group fleet to electric vehicles (EVs) by the same date.

Zenith has promised to switch its entire internal fleet to EV by 2025 – five years ahead of the date required by the EV100.

The EV100 initiative is operated by the Climate Group. It aims to bring together large business to accelerate the switch to electric transport.

Lex Autolease has a fleet of more than 350,000 vehicles. It operates some 28,000 ultra-low emission vehicles already and has been incentivising businesses to lease electric models by offering £1,000 cashback for the first 1,000 vehicles leased.

One in 16 EVs on the road belongs to Lex Autolease, currently.

Richard Jones, managing director of Motor Finance and Leasing at Lloyds Banking Group, said: “Sustainability is core to the vision we have for our business. As the market leader in leasing and funding vehicles for consumers and businesses we have a critical role to play in supporting the UK’s sustainability ambitions. Providing insight and expertise for businesses with fleets of all sizes is one part of how we will help.

“Last year we made strong progress towards helping our customers be more sustainable and signing up to EV100 is proof of our determination to continue over the long term. Our business customers have an important role to play in meeting the government’s ambitious climate change targets and we’re uniquely placed to help them make the switch. Through these commitments we are also helping to signal the UK as an attractive destination for electric vehicles in the global context.”

Zenith, the UK's largest independent vehicle leasing company, plans to switch its own fleet to 100% EV by 2025.

Tim Buchan, chief executive of Zenith, said: "We believe leasing companies have a pivotal role to play in delivering meaningful and successful EV strategies and policies. The wide-ranging and complex challenges faced by fleet and infrastructure requires corporate leadership underpinned with data – Zenith believes EV100 is the platform to deliver this."

The announcement coincides with the launch of EV100’s 2020 Progress and Insights Report, which shows demand for electric vehicles is on the up and that members are progressing fast towards their goals where models are available.

EV100 members have approximately 80,000 EVs already deployed and more than 10,000 charge points installed to date.  

However, the slow roll-out of electric vehicles from the auto industry is the top barrier to switching their entire fleet, cited by 79% of respondents – up by a third from last year.  

 As corporate ambition shifts gear, the auto industry is not responding fast enough for supply to match demand. While the European EV market is expected to grow in response to tough EU emissions rules, the US in particular risks being left behind globally – with the right for State level leadership on vehicle emissions standards being fought out in the courts later this year.

Helen Clarkson, CEO of The Climate Group, said: “For years automakers have raised the lack of demand as a problem for moving faster on electric vehicles. Our report shows that big business demand for EVs is increasing but is still not being met by manufacturers.  

“If automakers want to stay competitive, they need to shift to a higher gear on producing EVs – or risk losing their largest customers."

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