Vattenfall, one of the largest utility companies in Europe, with operations throughout Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, and the U.K., has committed to switching its entire car fleet – more than 3,500 passenger vehicles and light commercial vehicles – to electric vehicles (EVs).
According to the company, it will carry out this massive shift over a period of five years, beginning this past January.
With this move, Vattenfall takes a great leap forward toward its sustainable ambitions to be climate-neutral by 2050. Vattenfall has been active in e-mobility since 2009 and has invested heavily in electric transport because of its enormous potential to contribute to the energy transition and the reduction of CO2 emissions.
“We already help our customers drive electric by supplying charging points. With the decision to switch our own fleet, we do not only contribute to reducing CO2 emissions in Europe, but we also want to set an example for other companies,” says Martijn Hagens, head of customers and solutions at Vattenfall and responsible for e-mobility.
European Union (EU) member states and the EU Parliament have already agreed that transport emissions should be reduced by 60% by 2050. Vattenfall supports the move toward zero-emission transport but emphasizes that steps have to be taken to turn the EU strategy into concrete policies and actions.
“The outlines for success are already in place. Driving electric is far cheaper than driving on fossil fuels, and we help to build a solid charging infrastructure in Europe. But to be able to fully switch our fleet, availability and freedom of choice in cars are very important, as well,” says Hagens.
“The trend towards more affordable batteries with a wider range has already set in, which is why we believe the time is right to make this change. But electric cars still require a high financial investment,” he says. “And if you look at, for example, company vans, there isn’t much choice yet. Stricter CO2-emission standards on an EU level would help give car manufacturers the confidence that the development of electric vehicles is the true way forward, hopefully resulting in market growth and a wider range of cars at lower prices.”
Specifically, Vattenfall says it will gradually switch its fleet, with 1,700 vehicles in Sweden; 1,100 in Germany; and 750 in the Netherlands. The types of vehicles vary from passenger cars to technical support vehicles and maintenance vans. The development of the market for EVs will be crucial for this ambition to be met.
Vattenfall offers charging solutions to both retail and business customers and operates close to 6,000 EV charging points in Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands. The electricity supplied to EVs equaled 45 million zero-emission kilometers in 2016. Vattenfall is operating both normal and fast-charging stations and is a front-runner in developing new solutions for wireless charging, smart charging and bus charging.