The largest electric vehicle order for a commercial fleet in the UK has been awarded to Vauxhall by British Gas.
The order is for 2,000 all-new all-electric Vauxhall Vivaro-e vans, adding to the 1,000 purchased in summer 2020. All 3,000 electric vehicles (EVs) will be on the road by 2022.
As part of its commitment to become a net zero organisation, Centrica (owner of British Gas) has committed electrify its 12,000 strong operational fleet by 2025, five years earlier than originally planned and will be making further orders with Vauxhall for EVs as soon as they are available.
Centrica has also committed to make its 1,500 company cars EV only in the same time frame.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “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.”
While British Gas engineers can volunteer to have the new vans during the rollout, the company is prioritising high pollution areas to help lower emissions.
Charges will be installed at engineers’ homes by British Gas, which is also accelerating EV adoption in the UK for homes and businesses with charger installs and innovative EV tariffs.
“Everyone needs to act now to lower carbon emissions and help the UK reach net zero,” said Chris O’Shea, Chief Executive of Centrica.
“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.
Paul Willcox, Managing Director of Vauxhall Motors, added: “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.”