British Gas will be testing 28 Nissan e-NV200 vans through the coming Blighty winter to determine the future viability of EVs as part of its fleet. Also involved are Hitachi Capital Commercial Vehicle Solutions, which manages BG’s fleet, and Gateshead College, which has trained the drivers in the proper care and feeding of the 100% electric e-NV200.
“We’re committed to leading the industry in reducing the amount of carbon and other harmful tail pipe emissions emitted by our 13,000-strong vehicle fleet,” said British Gas Fleet Manager Colin Marriott. “This trial, the largest of its kind in the UK, is a great opportunity for us to understand how the Nissan e-NV200 vans perform during the winter as we move towards our goal of having at least 10% of our fleet running on electricity by 2015. All 28 engineers have been provided with a British Gas home charging point and access cards to public infrastructure to keep the vehicles charged up.”
Jim Wright, Nissan GB Managing Director, said, “Piloting such a large number of vans in advance of the e-NV200 going on sale in 2014 marks the final stages of the vehicle’s development. Our engineers will take the feedback of the British Gas drivers to ensure we launch a vehicle perfectly suited to British road and business conditions. With an expected harsh winter ahead, the 28 e-NV200s will be delivering home services around the country whatever the weather, demonstrating how strongly the electric van can perform for large fleets with challenging daily routines.”
“If this pilot proves a success it could mark a tipping point in the evolution of the commercial electric vehicle market,” said Hitachi Capital’s Jon Lawes.