British Gas has put in an order for 2,000 electric vans from Vauxhall, with the company committing to accelerate its fleet electrification plans.
With one of the largest fleets of vans in the UK, British Gas could have a big impact on the transition to electric vehicles. The company has previously promised to go fully electric by 2030, but it has now promised that it will meet its goal a full five years earlier in 2025.
In order to achieve its fleet electrification goal, British Gas has been working with Vauxhall to provide a new fleet of electric vans. Last summer the company purchased 1,000 all-electric Vivaro-e vans, it’s now adding another 2,000 to that tally.
Vauxhall has said that British Gas will receive all 3,000 of the electric vans it has ordered by 2022, although that still leaves a further 9,000 vehicles in the British Gas fleet to be electrified. The companies say they continue to work together, with a view that more Vauxhall electric vehicles will be purchased in the near future.
Centrica, the parent company of British Gas, has also committed to make its 1,500 company cars EV only by 2025.
How British Gas is getting ready for its fleet electrification
British Gas is gearing up for its fleet electrification by supporting its engineers in the transition. The company has committed to installing EV chargers at the homes of its engineers, ensuring they have a place to charge and aren’t forever hogging public chargers.
The company has a big stake in the transition to EVs, with British Gas already providing EV charge installations under its Local Heroes brand. The company says that it will be increasing the number of EV engineers in its employ, which it will achieve through the training of existing engineers, recruiting new engineers, and creating 1,000 new engineering apprenticeships by the end of 2022.
Chris O’Shea, chief executive of Centrica, commented, “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.
“At the same time, we are helping our customers make the switch to electric and working with motor manufacturers such as Vauxhall on services and solutions for their EV customers such as charge points, infrastructure and innovative EV tariffs with cheaper charging at night and free EV miles.
“We look forward to continuing to work in partnership with the Government to create the new jobs our country needs as we all seek to build back greener.”
Paul Willcox, managing director of Vauxhall Motors, added, “I am delighted that British Gas has added to its initial order of fully-electric Vauxhall Vivaro-e vans that now represents the largest electric vehicle order for a commercial fleet in the UK. As the oldest British vehicle Brand since 1903, I want to thank British Gas, a fellow British business, for their loyalty and trust in Vauxhall.
“As with all businesses up and down the country, tradespeople rely on their van as an essential tool of their work and our 300-strong Retailer network is crucial in continuing to provide support to carry British business. The strength of the quantity of orders for our all-electric van demonstrates that the Vauxhall Vivaro-e can contribute towards the transition towards low emissions vehicles whilst improving air quality.”
Grant Shapps, UK transport secretary, concluded, “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.”