The Accelerating to Zero Coalition (A2Z Coalition) recently hosted a highly successful panel event during the 36th Electric Vehicle Symposium in Sacramento, California. Organized in collaboration with the British Consulate-General San Francisco, this event aimed to showcase the essential need for coordination across all levels of government to achieve ambitious ZEV targets.

Speakers included high-level government officials representing national, subnational, and city-level jurisdictions who have signed the Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV) Declaration. The panel featured representatives from the United Kingdom’s Office for Zero Emission Vehicles, Transport Canada, the California Air Resources Board, and Seattle City Light.

During the panel discussion, the officials spoke about their commitment to the ZEV Declaration target, their progress so far, and their plans for the future. They shared their experiences and challenges in promoting the transition to ZEVs and collectively agreed that a rapid transition was a critical step in reducing carbon emissions and addressing climate change. Speakers also emphasized that collaboration between government and private sector organizations is essential in promoting the transition to ZEVs, and that governments at all levels must take action to promote the transition to ZEVs, including setting ambitious targets and providing incentives for consumers to switch to ZEVs.

Representatives from various government and private sector organizations involved in policymaking, technology, and innovation in the electric vehicle sector were also in attendance and heard from the A2Z Secretariat and fleet signatory Octopus Electric Vehicles. It was clearly articulated how initiatives like the ZEV Declaration can create strong demand signals for ZEVs, a message which was amplified by Octopus’ call for the private sector at large to raise ambitions and sign the ZEV Declaration.

The Declaration’s ambitious target, that all new sales of cars and vans be zero emission globally by 2040, is more important than ever. According to BloombergNEF, national ZEV targets and internal combustion engine (ICE) phase-out targets cover nearly 41% of the global passenger vehicle market by 2035. Automakers with 2035 ICE phase-out targets account for 23% of the market, this increases to 30% if automakers’ targets for 2040 are included. Commitments from governments would naturally push the private sector to accelerate their ZEV commitments and vice versa.

Overall, this event was a success, and it is encouraging to see so many high-level officials, organizations, and governments committed to accelerating the transition to zero-emission vehicles. We look forward to seeing further progress and developments from all signatories of the ZEV Declaration and the A2Z Coalition in the coming months and years.

Photo: Panelists speak at the A2Z roundtable at EVS36. From left to right: Liane Randolph (California Air Resources Board), Angela Song (Seattle City Light), Tammy Sandhu, MBE (British Consulate-General San Francisco), Nick Shaw (UK Department for Transport), and Zoiey Cobb (Transport Canada).