The British energy supply company Centrica is pushing ahead with the electrification of its fleet. The conversion of the entire fleet to electric vehicles is to take place by 2025, five years earlier than previously planned.
With this increase in EV adoption, Centrica is now ordering 2,000 additional Vivaro-e from Vauxhall for its subsidiary British Gas. 1,000 Vivaro-e for British Gas were ordered in summer 2020. All 3,000 of the electric vans are to be in operation by next year.
In the course of the renewed order with Vauxhall, Centrica also said that it would “never buy another vehicle with an internal combustion engine”. The utility company said it would place further orders for electric vehicles with Vauxhall as soon as they were available. Here Centrica is apparently alluding not only to the Vivaro-e for the technicians in customer service, but also to all other company and fleet cars.
British Gas technicians are said to be able to volunteer to switch to the electric delivery vehicle. At the same time, the company said it will be prioritising areas with high pollution levels.
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.” He noted that: “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.”
Of course, this is a huge show of confidence in Vauxhall from Centrica. Paul Willcox, Managing Director of Vauxhall Motors, said:
“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.”
Centrica signed up to the Climate Group’s EV100 initiative in summer 2019. This had seen the group commit to electrifying its entire vehicle fleets by 2030 – something that can be achieved as early as 2025, according to the new targets. Within a year, EV100 member companies have more than doubled the number of their e-vehicles, as a recently published annual report shows.
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