YOU’D think that if British Gas wanted to green up its fleet, it would run its 13,000 vans on – well, gas!
this trial is a great opportunity to understand how the Nissan e-NV200 vans perform during the winter
But no, the firm has decided instead to trial 28 electric vans from Nissan in a bid to cut down on emissions.
The Nissan e-NV200 is due to go on sale next year and Nissan is acutely aware that, so far, sales of electric vans have not exactly been electrifying.
In fact, in a van market of around 227,000 sales so far this year just over 1,000 have been electrics.
So by trialing the vans with one of the UK’s biggest fleets, Nissan hopes that other fleets will be tempted to try them too.
The nationwide trial starts now and will run up to April 2014 to see how the vans perform in winter conditions during typical gas man daily use.
Experts at Gateshead College have been training British Gas drivers to ensure they are fully briefed in how to drive and live with the 100% electric vans.
Colin Marriott, general manager fleet at British Gas, said: “We’re committed to leading the industry in reducing the amount of carbon and other harmful emissions from 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% of our fleet running on electricity by 2015.”