British Gas orders 100 electric vans

The UK's largest electric commercial vehicle trial has reached a successful conclusion, with British Gas committing to take on 100 all-electric Nissan vans on a permanent basis.

Following a six-month nationwide pilot which launched last November, British Gas has placed an immediate order for 50 e-NV200 vans, with another 50 being delivered to the energy giant at the end of the year.

“We have been extremely impressed with the performance of the Nissan e-NV200 during our winter trial,” said Colin Marriott, general manager of the British Gas fleet. “Taking on 100 of these vehicles on a permanent basis demonstrates our continued commitment to leading the adoption of this technology amongst large vehicle fleets in the UK.

“With technology and infrastructure improving all the time, we look forward to expanding this number in the coming years.”

The announcement, made today (29 April) at the start of the CV Show at the NEC in Birmingham, is part of British Gas’ wider commitment to ensuring 10% of its fleet of 13,000 home-service vans are all-electric by 2017. The 28 compact e-NV200s brought CO2emissions down to zero; covering in excess of 60,000 miles between them, with the majority of British Gas engineers claiming they would be happy to keep the van permanently.

Paul Kidd, a British Gas service & repair engineer from Northumberland, said: “I would absolutely recommend the van to other engineers, particularly as the technology improves and more charge points are installed. It is definitely the future.”

Nissan GB managing director Jim Wright added: “The success of this closely-watched trial with one of Britain biggest organisations puts Nissan in a great position in time for the official launch of the e-NV200 this June.

“The feedback we have received from the British gas engineers has been invaluable as it has ensured that the e-NV200 that goes on sale in June is well-suited to British road and business conditions and we have high expectations for its future and ongoing success.”

The six-month pilot saw Nissan and British Gas working with Hitachi Capital Commercial Vehicle Solutions to manage the fleet operations. Gateshead College was then used to train drivers in how to drive the 100 per cent electric vehicles. Hitachi Capital will be funding the purchase of the Nissan e-NV200s by British Gas as well as managing the fleet of all-electric vehicles in the future.

Luke Nicholls

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