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28 companies worth $1T to automakers: These are the ZEVs we want right now

The Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance (CEVA), a coalition of 28 major US and global companies and fleet operators, released a letter today urging automakers to rapidly expand their zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) offerings. The group also specified what kind of vehicles they want. CEVA, which is led by nonprofit Ceres, includes such corporate heavy hitters as Amazon, American Airlines, Best Buy, DHL, T-Mobile, and Uber.

What CEVA wants

CEVA represents more than $1 trillion in annual revenue and collectively owns, leases, or operates more than 1.3 million on-road fleet vehicles in the US alone.

CEVA states the following excerpts in its letter to the US automotive and trucking industry:

Within the next five years, CEVA members alone plan to acquire and deploy more than 377,750 new ZEV models (Class 1 to Class 8 vehicles) on US roads. While our demand for clean vehicles is substantial, it is important to emphasize that this number represents only a portion of the rising demand for ZEVs in the US, and indicates a seismic shift in the procurement criteria of large businesses.

In addition, CEVA is pleased to provide manufacturers with clear and aggregate information on our
desired specifications for new ZEV models, including minimum electric range and other commercial requirements (e.g., minimum towing capacity, gross vehicle weight rating, and cargo space) by vehicle segment. CEVA members represent numerous industries including shipping and logistics, e-commerce, electric power, telecommunications, and more. While our vehicle needs may not necessarily be representative of all fleets across all industries, many of our peers do operate under similar use cases. By demonstrating the significant demand among our members for existing, new, and diverse ZEV models, we hope to provide the proof points you need to fill gaps in the current market and meet the needs of some of your largest customers.

How it wants the ZEVs

CEVA conducted a recent internal survey among its members. The survey collected information about range and other critical specifications, including minimum towing capacity, gross vehicle weight rating, and cargo capacity for a variety of desired vehicle types and segments, including sedans, pickup trucks, SUVs, box trucks, and tractor-trailers. 

The three top-line points that emerged from the survey, which CEVA shared in its letter, are:

  • 95% of CEVA respondents noted that they would be willing to switch vehicle brands in order to procure their desired ZEV configuration.
  • Only 30% of our members’ operations would allow for overnight (8-10) hours of charging in all use cases, 50% would allow it in three-quarters of use cases, and 10% would allow it in both one-half or one-quarter of use cases.
  • 51% of CEVA members’ charging is or will be done at a fleet depot, 30% at employees’ homes, and 20% on-route or while traveling.

Sara Forni, senior manager of clean vehicles at Ceres, and leader of the Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance, said:

Over the next few years, the accelerating demand for zero emission vehicles will be both  substantial and specific.

Global car and truck manufacturers are already racing to fulfill company and consumer needs in new models. This is a critical moment if  the US industry hopes to compete on the global stage, and if we hope to drive zero emission  vehicle deployment at the speed and scale necessary to meet the demands of the global  climate and public health crises.

Details of exactly what the Alliance wants in its ZEVs can be found here, in the pull-down menus.

Read more: AT&T, Amazon, IKEA, others join new Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in White River Junction, Vermont. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.