British Gas has ordered 1,000 of the new Vauxhall electric Vivaro-e vans for its engineers — the largest EV order for a commercial fleet in the UK. They’ll arrive over the next 12 months.
British Gas has the third-largest commercial fleet in the country and has committed to being 100% electric by 2030. Centrica, which owns British Gas, will electrify its fleet of 12,000 vehicles by 2030. It will place further orders with Vauxhall as soon as more EVs are available. This may include the Combo-e, which is expected to be available from summer 2021.
British Gas will target areas where lowering emissions is more urgent and where vans need replacing. The company’s engineers will install chargers at the drivers’ homes. 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 (pictured above), 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.
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.
British Gas, which supplies both natural gas and electricity, has a future net zero pledge. This includes:
- Be net zero by 2050 and announce its pathway to achieve that by 2030.
- Help customers reduce emissions by 25%
- Deliver 7GW of flexible, distributed, and low-carbon technologies
There is something slightly ironic about a gas company leading the UK in placing orders for commercial e-vans, but we’ll take it. It’s good to see yet another large company commit to using EVs in their commercial fleets.
It’s an encouraging sign that British Gas and its parent company Centrica are serious about reaching its net zero targets. So in the meantime, when your engineer shows up in an EV to service your gas, then so be it. To borrow supermarket giant Tesco’s slogan, “Every little helps.”
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