The call for a faster global move to electric vehicles


Image shows Nissan LEAF's 500,000th vehicle

Representatives of electric vehicle drivers’ associations from a range of European countries are heading to the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference to support the call for much faster transport decarbonisation globally, fuelled by renewable energy

Written by Warren Philips, EVA England board member and media liaison

Electric Vehicle drivers from Europe are heading to COP26 to support the call for a faster global move to electric vehicles.
They will be calling for all new cars and light duty vans sold in the 28 countries (44 EV drivers’ associations) represented in the Global EV Drivers’ Alliance (GEVA) to have a plug by 2030, and to be fully zero emission by 2035 at the latest. A rapid shift to zero emission electric transport is currently being achieved in many countries and can be accelerated through supportive policies.
Transportation accounts for 24 per cent of direct CO2 emissions from fuel combustion globally, of which road vehicles account for nearly 75 per cent. GEVA is calling for action now to shift from vehicles burning fossil fuels to vehicles running on clean, renewable electricity.
To take this message to COP26, EV drivers from Europe and the UK will be participating in the ‘Electric Road to COP26’, with the route also showcasing a number of UK companies that are leading the green industrial revolution.
The EVs will charge up with 100 per ent renewable electricity at the GRIDSERVE Electric Forecourt in Essex on the morning of Friday 29 October. GRIDSERVE’s pioneering Electric Forecourts and Electric Hubs are part of GRIDSERVE’s Electric Highway, a UK-wide EV charging network powered by net zero carbon sustainable energy. GRIDSERVE is offering EV test drives for the public at its Electric Forecourt in Braintree.
The next stop for the EV drivers is myenergi in Grimsby where they will be able to see some of the latest EV charging and zero carbon home energy solutions. The eco home smart tech products that myenergi offers includes the best-selling electric vehicle charger, the zappi.
The route will then take in the site where construction is currently starting of the Britishvolt EV battery gigafactory in Northumberland which will be the first site of its kind in the country to be manufacturing sustainable batteries for electric vehicles. Members of the public can sign up for test drives of electric cars with Octopus Electric Vehicles and meet motoring journalist Quentin Willson.
The drivers will experience Scottish EV charging at Forth Valley College in Falkirk before ending up in Glasgow itself at the Arnold Clark Innovation Centre.
The EV drivers will then head to COP26 in Glasgow in order to support the call for much faster transport decarbonisation globally, and to increase the public’s awareness of the benefits of EVs for the environment and health, reducing carbon emissions and helping to improve air quality. They will also promote the voice of EV driver associations globally working with GEVA.
The Electric Road to COP26 is being organised by Electric Vehicle Association (EVA) England, EVA Scotland, GEVA and local EV Groups (NEXUS). Octopus Electric Vehicles is providing EVs for driving opportunities at some of the locations on the route. Planet Mark’s Zero Carbon Tour Bus will join the Electric Road in Glasgow.

Sharing experiences

The drivers coming from a range of continental European countries are all keen electric drivers. They have different stories and experiences about how they came to drive electric vehicles, and they want to show how EVs are already great solutions for personal mobility and are being used by drivers across the world.
The UK government has announced that it will phase out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and light vans by 2030, and plug-in hybrid cars and vans by 2035. The targets announced globally for ending the sale of petrol and diesel cars are shown in this article from the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT):
The Global EV Alliance (GEVA) represents EV Driver Associations from the countries of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, The Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Scotland, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain (Catalonia), Sweden, Switzerland and the United States.

Joel Levin, Global EV Alliance (GEVA) Chair, comments: “A shift to electric transport is essential to quickly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce dangerous climate change, improve local air quality and people’s health in cities around the world. With the rapid improvements in EV technology and the new cars and vans coming into the market, it is entirely achievable.”

Ade Adepitan MBE, EVA England Honorary Member adds: “In my recent travels and when reporting on climate change, I’ve seen the growth of electric bikes, three-wheelers, cars, buses and vans around the world, and the opportunity to do much more. I call for COP26 to speed up the move to electric transport.”
Neil Swanson, director of Electric Vehicle Association Scotland, concludes: “EVA Scotland looks forward to welcoming delegates and drivers to COP26, which presents a unique opportunity to increase the uptake of electric vehicles globally.”

EVA England offers a voice for EV drivers in England. People can follow updates about the Electric Road to COP26 and share the message about the need for faster global transport decarbonisation via the EVA England website and on Twitter @EVAEOfficial.