In one of the biggest switches to electric vehicles by a company so far, British Gas has ordered 2,000 new electric vans and plans to fully electrify its fleet by 2025.
The company, owned by Centrica, runs the third-biggest van fleet in the UK, and has moved its electrification target five years ahead of schedule.
It means that around 10,000 vans and 1,500 company cars will switch to electric, with the business looking to place further orders for electric vehicles (EVs) as soon as they become available.
While engineers can volunteer to have the new vans during the roll out, the company said it is prioritising high pollution areas to help lower emissions.
British Gas engineers will install all chargers at engineer homes and is accelerating EV adoption in the UK for homes and businesses with charger installs and innovative EV tariffs.
Centrica chief executive, Chris O’Shea said: “Everyone needs to act now to lower carbon emissions and help the UK reach net zero. We are leading from the front by not only lowering emissions for our customers and our communities, but by lowering our own emissions, and by increasing the speed at which we do this. Fully electrifying our fleet will make a big difference.”
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps welcomed the news, saying: “It’s encouraging to see that one of Britain’s best-known brands is leading the way with the largest commercial EV fleet in the UK.”
Facilities management company Mitie has also pledged to have at least 2,000 pure EVs in its fleet by the end of 2021.
In 2020, Mitie set a target of 717 EVs by 2020, which it achieved three months ahead of schedule.
Centrica and Mitie are both members of the Climate Group’s EV100, a global initiative bringing together companies committed to switching their fleets to electric and installing charging infrastructure for employees and customers by 2030.
In the last year, the number of EVs operated by large multinationals within the EV100 has more than doubled to 169,000.