8 Jul 20

Britain's biggest ever EV fleet deal announced

Energy firm British Gas has placed the largest ever single order for electric vehicles in the UK. The company will take delivery of 1,000 Vauxhall (Opel) Vivaro-e vans over the next year.

British Gas runs the UK's third largest fleet, with 12,000 vehicles, including about 10,000 vans, and has committed to complete electrification by 2030. The utility has been at the forefront of electric vehicle trials, testing Nissan eNV200 vans as long ago as 2012, and pledging to switch 10% of its fleet to  battery power by 2017.

The first British Gas drivers of the Vivaro-e will be volunteers, with priority given to those working in areas where low emissions are more important. The drivers will have recharge points installed at their homes.

More orders pending

The Vivaro-e is the first electric van available from Vauxhall/Opel, and British Gas has said it will place more orders when the manufacturer’s other battery-powered vans become available, such as the Combo-e in summer 2021.

Matthew Bateman, Managing Director of British Gas, said: “Our engineers and their vans are part of the local community they serve and it’s important we reduce the emissions of our vans so that we are contributing towards better air quality in their area and the environment. We are committed to the transition to electric vehicles.”

He added that Vauxhall had been able to supply a large number of high-quality, low emission vans, and that the two companies will work together on future EV solutions.

British Gas EV fleet solutions

British Gas is also working with fleet and private customers to install charging solutions at workplace and domestic residences. It is the preferred supplier and installer of charge points for Ford, Renault, Nissan, Volkswagen Group, and leasing firm Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions.

“Transport is a key area where we can improve carbon emissions and is an important part of our strategy to meet our net zero targets,” said Bateman.

Opel/Vauxall electric van plans

Stephen Norman, Managing Director of Vauxhall Motors, said: “The strength of the quantity of orders for our all-electric van demonstrates that the Vauxhall Vivaro-e, the first step in the electrification of our entire van range, can contribute towards the transition towards low emissions vehicles whilst improving air quality.”

The UK Government welcomed the giant EV order, with Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport, saying that the deal marked: “Another milestone as we continue on the road to a green transport recovery.”

Photo: Vauxhall

Authored by: Jonathan Manning