Centrica has committed to electrifying its 12,000-strong operational fleet by 2025, five years earlier than it had previously aimed for.
It comes as British Gas – its energy supply arm – orders a further 2,000 of the new all-electric Vivaro-e vans from Vauxhall for its engineers, the largest electric vehicle (EV) order for a commercial fleet in the UK ever. It adds onto the 1,000 ordered by the energy supplier last summer, which at the time was celebrated as the largest order.
All 3,000 of the EVs will be on the road by 2022, with engineers able to volunteer to have the new vans during the rollout, although the company is prioritising high pollution areas to help lower emissions.
British Gas engineers will install all chargers at engineer homes. The company is currently increasing the EV engineer workforce through training existing engineers, recruiting new engineers and creating 1,000 new engineering apprenticeships by the end of 2022.
In December, Centrica announced it had signed a three-year framework with Alfen to supply EV chargers to British Gas engineers and Centrica sites, with the chargers to be initially be rolled out at the homes of British Gas engineers before then being installed at their premises and those of Centrica.
Centrica will also make its 1,500 company cars EVs by 2025, it announced, and will be making further orders with Vauxhall for EVs as soon as they are available.
Chris O’Shea, chief executive of Centrica, said that electrifying the company’s fleet will “make a big difference” when it comes to lowering emissions.
“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,” he added.