British Gas has announced that it is ordering 2,000 new all-electric Vivaro-e vans from Vauxhall and has confirmed plans to never purchase another combustion engine vehicle.
As part of its commitment to become a net zero organisation, Centrica, owner of British Gas, has committed to electrify its 12,000-strong operational fleet by 2025, five years earlier than originally planned and will be making further EV orders with Vauxhall as soon as they are available.
Centrica has also committed to make its 1,500 company cars EV-only in the same timeframe.
In addition to the 1,000 Vivaro-e vans purchased last summer, the Vauxhall purchase represents the largest commercial battery-electric vehicle order in the UK to date. All 3,000 EVs will be on the road by 2022, said Centrica.
While engineers can volunteer to have the new vans during the rollout, the company said it 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 EV tariffs.
The company is currently increasing its EV engineer workforce through training existing engineers, recruiting new engineers, and creating 1,000 new engineering apprenticeships by the end of 2022.
Chris O’Shea, chief executive of Centrica, said: “Everyone needs to act now to lower carbon emissions and help the UK reach net zero. 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.”