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Multinationals Misuse Velo-City Name at Program Launch for Switch To Electric Vehicles

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NEW YORK, USA – Last Tuesday a new business campaign designed to fast-track the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) and infrastructure has been launched by The Climate Group at a unique event in New York, as business and government leaders gather at Climate Week NYC. However, the campaign is only about electric cars despite the use of the ‘VELOCITY’ name.

Multinationals Misuse Velo-City Name at Program Launch for Switch To Electric Vehicles
‘VELOCITY – Accelerating Climate Action’, has been launched earlier this week at Climate Week NYC. – Photo The Climate Group

‘VELOCITY – Accelerating Climate Action’, has been launched earlier this week at Climate Week NYC. That this name is used here is remarkable, to say the least. In particular as ‘Velo-city’ is the official name of the annual Congress supervised by the European Cyclists’ Federation for city planners and mobility experts that focus on improving and expanding cycling and bicycle use in cities all around the world.

ECF Response on Misuse Velo-city Name

“We would be a bit more concerned if they had used the name in a cycling context or added a hyphen,” said Kevin Mayne, Development Director at ECF the organizer of the global cycling summits Velo-city. “But as the Velo-city conference series name was always a word-play on the word Velocity which was in common use there was nothing we could do historically to stop the word being used for other initiatives, especially outside cycling.”

‘A lot of work to do against the e-car lobby’

“I am more disappointed that the Climate Group is so focused on electric cars instead of wide electric mobility including e-bikes, I have met one of their project managers to show what e-bikes can contribute to their initiative. We still have a lot of work to do against the e-car lobby,” said Kevin Mayne.

Fight against climate change

Under the ‘VELOCITY’ name The Climate Group is said to be partnering with, among others, Formula E in order “To demonstrate the need for faster action, greater impact, and convergence across all sectors in the fight against climate change. Formula E’s vision is that one day every car in the world will be electric, with the transition making a significant contribution to addressing challenges like climate change and inner-city pollution. Collaborating at a global level with multiple stakeholders, Formula E is offering a R&D platform to accelerate the rate of technology development and favouring a quicker and smoother transition toward clean energy.”

Global business commitments on electric transport

The Climate Group is founded by multinationals Baidu, Deutsche Post DHL Group, Heathrow Airport, HP Inc., IKEA Group, LeasePlan, METRO AG, PG&E, Unilever, Vattenfall. They are the 10 first members of what is named as ‘EV100’, which is said to be “The only initiative of its kind to encourage global business commitments on electric transport, with members swapping their large diesel/petrol vehicle fleets to electric vehicle fleets and/or installing electric battery charging infrastructure by 2030.” Hopefully these ‘electric vehicle fleets’ will go beyond Tesla cars and the likes but also involve e-bikes and e-cargo bikes in order to “making a significant contribution to addressing challenges like climate change and inner-city pollution.”

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