The electrification of UK’s commercial vehicle fleets appears to be gathering pace as British Gas signed what is believed to be the country’s biggest ever order for electric vans.
The company is to take delivery of 1,000 all-electric Vauxhall Vivaro e vans, which will be delivered over the next 12 months and used British Gas engineers nationwide.
The deal is a major endorsement for the British-built Vivaro, which is made at the company’s historic plant in Luton.
Centrica, owner of British Gas, has committed to electrifying its 12,000 strong fleet by 2030.
The first 1,000 vehicles will be allocated to engineers who volunteer to switch from existing diesel vehicles to electric. These engineers will install chargers for the vehicles at their own homes as part of the company’s training plans. The company is currently upskilling engineers in EV charging and is accelerating EV adoption for homes and businesses with charger installs and EV tariffs.
Matthew Bateman, Managing Director of British Gas, said, “We are committed to the transition to electric vehicles which involves changing our fleet as well as helping consumers and businesses with charge points and infrastructure.
“We chose to work with Vauxhall as they were able to give us a large number of high-quality and low emission vans to help us effectively serve our customers – and they will also work with us on future EV 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.”
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said, “This announcement marks another milestone as we continue on the road to a green transport recovery.
“This is a huge step for such an iconic British company, who are showing leadership in making the switch to zero emission vehicles as we to strive to meet net zero emissions by 2050.
“We’re determined to build back greener – to deliver better air quality and lower our carbon footprint, which is why we’re investing more than ever in zero emission grants and infrastructure.”