Following a successful six-month winter trial of Nissan’s fully-electric e-NV200 van, British Gas has decided to place an immediate order for 50 vans, with a further 50 to be delivered later this year.
British Gas announced the order for the 100 Nissan e-NV200 models today at the 2014 CV Show at the NEC in Birmingham.
The order for the all-electric models is part of British Gas’ wider commitment to ensuring that 10 per cent of its fleet of 13,000 home service vans are fully-electric by 2017.
The six-month pilot was launched last November in order to determine the viability of using electric vehicle technology as part of British Gas’ fleet operations.
Nissan and British Gas worked with Hitachi Capital Commercial Vehicle Solutions and Gateshead College in order to manage the fleet operations and train drivers in how to drive the 100 per cent electric e-NV200 models, respectively.
In the winter trail, the 28 Nissan e-NV200 models covered in excess of 60,000 miles between them – the UK’s largest ever electric commercial vehicle evaluation to date.
The purpose of the pilot was to assess how the models “performed in winter conditions during typical British Gas home services daily usage patterns”.
Paul Kidd, a British Gas Service & Repair engineer from Northumberland, got to experience the eco-friendly commercial vehicle first hand while on the job.
Kidd commented: “I can sometimes spend hours each day driving between customer’’ homes, but the Nissan e-NV200 made that just a little bit easier. It was smooth, stress-free and I was really disappointed when I had to give it back.
“I would absolutely recommend the van to other engineers, particularly as the technology improves and more charge points are installed. It’s definitely the future.”
British Gas’ general manager of fleet, Colin Marriott, added: “We have been extremely impressed with the performance of the Nissan e-NV200 during our winter trial. The feedback from our engineers speaks for itself, with the majority saying they would be happy to keep the van permanently.
“Taking on 100 of these vehicles on a permanent basis demonstrates our continued commitment to leading the adoption of this technology amongst large vehicle fleets in the UK. With technology and infrastructure improving all the time, we look forward to expanding this number in the coming years.”
The new Nissan e-NV200 van is available to purchase from June this year, with the model guaranteeing significant savings in running costs, while bringing CO2 emissions down to zero.