Interviews
17 Dec 18

‘Think big, start small and go electric!’

Regarding the ambitions for electric mobility during the COP24, GlobalFleet talked with Olivier Debuquoy (LeasePlan Electric Vehicles Consultant), a company that has signed up for the EV100 and pledges to electrify its entire fleet of 1.8 million vehicles by 2030.

What is the greatest motivation of LeasePlan to sign up for EV100?

Olivier Debuquoy: “LeasePlan is proud to be a founding partner of the EV100 initiative and to work with stakeholders from across the industry, as well as some of the world’s largest companies, to speed up the transition to electric mobility. 

However, ultimately, this isn’t about EVs but about tackling climate change. Climate change is one of the biggest issues that we face today, and transport is one of the most significant contributors. Around half the cars on the road today belong to companies and a move towards electric fleets would be a vital step towards reducing global emissions. We are therefore committed to helping any organisation that wants to start electric and make a positive contribution to this historic challenge.

Our ‘Sustainable Fleet Benchmark’ outlines the importance of making the switch to EV as soon as possible.” 

Will the discussions of the COP24 regarding zero emission mobility have an impact on LeasePlan’s ambitions regarding ZEVs?

"COP24 is doing a great job of increasing awareness of climate change and helping to alert people to the immediate importance of reducing CO2 emissions. At LeasePlan we have set a clear ambition to achieve zero emissions from our total fleet by 2030 and we are always looking for ways to accelerate the transition. We will take on board the issues discussed at COP24 in order to further optimise our own sustainability strategy.” 

Should the international ambitions regarding ZEVs be higher; or be more realistic?

“We already observe that many governments and, more precisely, municipalities have committed to accelerate the transition to zero emission road transportation. In response, major investments have been made by the OEMs in order to electrify their vehicle range. Therefore, we believe our long-term objective of reaching net zero emissions from our fleet of 1.8 million vehicles by 2030 is challenging but achievable.” 

What does the market need in order to speed up the process towards zero emission mobility?

“EV charging infrastructure has been rapidly improving, but ‘range anxiety’ remains one of the biggest barriers to EV adoption. Customers simply worry about where they can charge their cars and how far they can travel.  That’s why we decided to offer a ‘full package’ EV solution, for the cars plus the charging infrastructure, to make it as easy as possible for our customers to make the switch to electric. 

More specifically, we offer our EV customers personal charging points at home and at work through our partnership with Allego, amongst others. The charging points can be used for all EVs, enable load-balancing and offer automatic reimbursement. In addition, our EV customers receive a charging card that gives them access to more than 82,000 charging points across Europe.” 

Which arguments could be used to convince other automotive players to go 100% emission free?

“LeasePlan’s Car Cost Index has shown that the relative cost of ownership of EVs compared to diesel has on average been falling year on year, and in some countries EVs are now even cheaper to own. Alongside this, constantly improving battery and charging technology means that ‘range anxiety’ is becoming an issue of the past – all of which means we are approaching a positive tipping point in the transition to EVs.

We encourage everyone to think big, start small and go electric!”  

What will be LeasePlan’s next step to go for 100% ZEVs?

As part of our zero emissions strategy we continue to focus on three elements:

  1. Helping customers go electric by offering ‘full package’ EV solutions. 
  2. Offering carbon neutral contracts through our partnership with Land Life Company.
  3. Transitioning our own employee fleet to electric vehicles by 2021

Image: LeasePlan is planning to electrify its entire fleet by 2030.

Authored by: Fien Van den steen