Members of the Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance presented top vehicle manufacturers, including Volvo, GM, Daimler and Toyota, with a roadmap for developing the types of electric vehicles that companies plan to acquire in the US over the next five years. The recommendations are based upon a new Ceres analysis of the aggregate results of an internal Alliance survey, which found that the Alliance members who participated in the survey collectively plan to procure 333,000 electric vehicles including sedans SUVs, pickups and box trucks.
The findings are a bellwether for any vehicle manufacturer aiming to remain competitive in the auto and truck industry of the future—96% of the survey respondents indicated a willingness to switch manufacturers if that’s what it took to get their desired electric vehicle configurations.
The Alliance members, which include Amazon, Best Buy, DHL, and Schindler Elevator, collectively own, lease or operate nearly 1.3 million on-road vehicles in the United States.
Automakers are already moving toward electric vehicles, but by establishing clear lines of communication between manufacturers and major consumers, we can accelerate that transition to the point where we’re meeting critical climate goals as well as fleets’ operational needs.
This survey leaves no doubt that if manufacturers want to remain relevant over the next decade, they must prioritize developing specific electric vehicles to meet key commercial use cases, while also working to fulfill niche needs as the industry grows. Alliance members recognize that the future is electric. By speaking with a common voice, they demonstrate the power of collective action to steer and speed the transition to electrified transportation.—Sara Forni, director of clean vehicles at Ceres
The Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance analysis was released with detailed graphs depicting the findings original aggregate survey results. It recommends that auto and truck manufacturers be more transparent about the timing of new model releases and prioritize the design and production of zero emission vehicles that meet the most frequently needed configurations and specifications for major commercial fleets. This entails producing vehicles that have sufficient battery capacity to get drivers where they need to go while meeting companies’ unique needs.
Alliance members believe this prioritization is important because US electric vehicle production capacity is still on average lower than that of internal combustion engine vehicles.
Key findings include:
Preference for BEVs. Alliance members prefer battery-electric vehicles over plug-in hybrids or hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles across most vehicle types.
LDV ZEV Preferences by Vehicle Type. Most respondents stated a preference for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) over plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) or fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV). Source: Ceres
Charging Location Flexibility. While respondents indicated that most charging would take place at private locations such as employee homes or fleet depots, they noted that on-road charging is a critical element of the commercial transition to electric vehicles, particularly for regional and long-haul freight.
Sedans. Sedans accounted for more than three-quarters of planned light-duty vehicle procurements.
LDV Planned Procurements by Vehicle Type. Respondents plan to procure nearly 269,000 zero emission light-duty vehicles (LDVs)—sedans, sports utility vehicles (SUVs), and pickups—in the next five years. Sedans account for more than 75% of this planned procurement. Source: Ceres
Desired Vehicle Specifications. The analysis includes an aggregate list of detailed desired specifications including minimum electric range, towing capacity and cargo space, across vehicle types.
Ceres launched the Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance in 2019, committed to a vision of a market where electric vehicle models are available to meet commercial and vocational needs, are accessible to all companies, and are cost competitive with internal combustion engine vehicles.
In spring 2021, Alliance members completed a survey on short-term ZEV procurement plans and needs. 85% of Alliance members responded to the survey, and noted vehicle specifications that meet the minimum needs of the majority of their use cases. Survey questions were grouped by vehicle segment and Alliance members only responded to questions for vehicle segments they currently operate.
The analysis was prepared for Ceres by M.J. Bradley and Associates, an ERM Group company, with leads Grace Van Horn and Luke Hellgren, and co-authored by Ceres.