British Gas is conducting the UK’s largest electric vehicle (EV) trial employing 28 Nissan e-NV200 vans to determine the viability having an all EV fleet, comprised of 13,000 vans. Hitachi Capital Commercial Vehicle Solutions and Gateshead College will also participate in the pilot, which will go from November to April 2014. The pilot is designed to see how the vans perform in winter conditions.
Colin Marriott, British Gas fleet general manager, says, “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, 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 percent of our fleet running on electricity by 2015.”
Nissan’s managing director for Great Britain notes, “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 Nissan e-NV200s will be delivering home services around the country whatever the weather, demonstrating how strongly the 100% electric van can perform for large fleets with challenging daily routines.”
Jon Lawes, Hitachi Capital Commercial Vehicle Solutions divisional managing director, said:
“We have enjoyed a long relationship with Centrica and the British Gas team, and if this pilot proves a success it could mark a tipping point in the evolution of the commercial electric vehicle market.”
Mick Brophy, Gateshead College managing director of business, innovation, and development, adds: “We are proud to be a part of this flagship development in low carbon technology. If Britain is to continue to lead the world in the development and adoption of cleaner vehicles, we must also provide top-quality training for the people who will design, build, and service them. Our purpose built Skills Academy for Sustainable Manufacturing Innovation—the UK’s first education center dedicated to the clean technologies sector—was perfectly equipped to deliver this type of training, which was tailored to meet the needs of British Gas and Nissan.”
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