British Gas, operator of the third largest commercial vehicle fleet in the UK, has placed an order of 2,000 all-electric Vauxhall Vivaro-e vans. The deal is the country’s largest ever CV order of electric-only vehicles – beating Amazon’s Sprinter van order of 1,800, among others – and adds to the company’s previous order of 1,000 in summer 2020.
Centrica, which owns British Gas, has committed to electrify its entire 12,000-strong fleet by 2025. All 3,000 vehicles from the two orders will be on the road by 2022 with high pollution areas prioritised for rollout – although engineers can also volunteer for EV adoption.
As part of its commitment to being a net-zero organisation, the company will install all chargers at engineer homes and is, it states, accelerating EV adoption in the UK for homes and businesses with charger installs and innovative EV tariffs. It is also recruiting for and retraining EV engineers, as well as offering an additional 1,000 engineering apprenticeships by the end of 2022.
Centrica chief executive, Chris O’Shea, said, “Everyone needs to act now to lower carbon emissions and help the UK reach net zero. We are leading from the front by not only lowering emissions for our customers and our communities, but by lowering our own emissions, and by increasing the speed at which we do this. Fully electrifying our fleet will make a big difference.”
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps added, “It’s encouraging to see that one of Britain’s best-known brands is leading the way with the largest commercial EV fleet in the UK. This is a huge step as we build back greener, lower our carbon footprint and deliver better air quality up and down the country – with more zero-emission models of cars and vans on the market than ever before, there has never been a better time for drivers and businesses to make the switch.”