Under terms of the agreement with Renault, which was announced at the technical forum for the RAC Future Car Challenge at Imperial College London, British Gas will supply and install electric car charge points in homes and businesses across the country.
Renault will launch the electric Kangoo Van Z.E. later in 2011, to be followed by a range of fully-electric cars: the Fluence Z.E. and ZOE car models and an urban two-seater, the Twizy.
Dean Keeling, Managing Director of British Gas Smart Homes, notes, “The market for electric vehicles in Britain is growing fast. With our national network of electrical engineers, our electricity supply business, our solar panel business and our roll out of smart meters, British Gas is well placed to be at the forefront of that market. We can help electric car owners power their car for less money and from renewable sources.”
Experts believe that by 2020, electric vehicles could account for around 10 percent of all vehicles sold in the UK, which works out to approximately a quarter million households having an EV. It is also expected that 700,000 homes will have solar panels by 2020, there is significant potential for those households with solar panels, electric vehicles, and charging points to run their vehicles with free renewable energy. The average annual earnings of up to £900 generated by a standard-sized domestic solar panel installation can offset the average annual running costs of a zero emission electric vehicle.
The costs for installing a charging point by one of British Gas’ nationwide network of installers will be £995 and up, including VAT. Charging points are more convenient and safer than plugging the vehicles directly into the home electricity system and will cut the charging time by a third. Research from Market Gravity, calculated on projections of car manufacturers’ EV market share, indicates that 59 percent of charging in 2020 will be at home, compared to 32 percent at work and only nine percent will use public charging.
Renault UK’s Managing Director, Thierry Sybord, adds: “The electric revolution is on its way and Renault is leading the pack with its full range of electric vehicles. Partnering with British Gas, Britain’s biggest supplier of electricity to homes, means Renault Z.E. range customers can access competitive, quality charging technology and rely upon a prompt and professional service. We selected British Gas for the strength of their service network, the quality and competitiveness of the wallbox offering and the strength of their marketing.”