British Gas has ordered 2,000 new all-electric Vivaro-e vans from Opel/Vauxhall, making it the largest UK commercial electric vehicle order to date.
As part of its commitment to become a net zero organisation, Centrica, owner of British Gas, says it will “never” purchase another combustion engine vehicle again.
The firm has committed to electrify its 12,000 strong operational fleet by 2025, five years earlier than originally planned.
It says it will be making further orders with Vauxhall for electric vehicles as soon as they are available. Centrica has also committed to make its 1,500 company cars EV only in the same time frame.
In addition to the 1,000 purchased last Summer, the Vauxhall purchase represents the largest commercial BEV (battery electric vehicle) order in the UK to date. All 3,000 electric vehicles will be on the road by 2022. While engineers can volunteer to have the new vans during the rollout, the company is prioritising high pollution areas to help lower emissions.
British Gas engineers will install all chargers at engineer homes and is accelerating EV adoption in the UK for homes and businesses with charger installs and innovative EV tariffs. The company is currently increasing the EV engineer workforce through training existing engineers, recruiting new engineers, and creating 1,000 new engineering apprenticeships by the end of 2022.
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. 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.”