British Gas has ordered 1,000 all-electric Vauxhall Vivaro-e vans for its engineers.
Vauxhall says it is the largest commercial BEV (battery electric vehicle) order in the UK to date.
The BEVs will arrive during the next 12 months and be rolled out nationwide across the British Gas engineer workforce.
Centrica, owner of British Gas, has committed to electrifying its 12,000 strong fleet by 2030 and will be making further orders with Vauxhall for electric vehicles as soon as they are available. This may include the all-electric Combo-e, available from summer, 2021.
The engineers who receive the new vans will be chosen from volunteers, but also targeting areas where it is important to lower emissions and where a van already needs replacing. The British Gas engineers will install the chargers at engineer homes.
The company is currently up-skilling engineers in EV charging and is accelerating EV adoption for homes and businesses with charger installs and EV tariffs.
“Our engineers and their vans are part of the local community they serve and it’s important we reduce the emissions of our vans so that we are contributing towards better air quality in their area and the environment,” said British Gas MD, Matthew Bateman.
“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.”
For his part, Vauxhall MD, Stephen Norman added: “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 the Vauxhall Vivaro-e, the first step in the electrification of our entire van range, can contribute towards the transition towards low emissions vehicles whilst improving air quality.”
British Gas has the third largest commercial fleet in the country.