Centrica, the owner of British Gas, is announcing a new three-year contract with Hitachi Capital Commercial Vehicle Services for the leasing and fleet management of a converted Citroen Nemo EV (electric vehicle).
This is the first part of a trial-phase for the British Gas fleet with the ambitious target of significantly expanding its EVs to more than 1,000 by 2015.
The EV Nemo will operate on trial within British Gas’ two main national distribution centres. The company will be collecting data on the operational experience of driving the Nemo. This will include how often the vehicle requires charging and which engineers it will be suitable for, as well as finding out more about the cost benefits and total cost of ownership.
The British Gas business model means that most engineers work from home and drive short distances within their local area, so the EV concept is expected to fit well into the fleet.
In a separate deal, Hitachi Capital is already funding five Nissan Leafs as company cars for the utility provider. Centrica plans to review the success of the EV Nemo in mid-2012 as part of the decision making about the company’s future use of electric vehicles.
Colin Marriott, fleet general manager at Centrica, said: “We are highly ambitious in our strategy to introduce EVs into our fleet and this partnership with Hitachi Capital is a key step towards our goal. We are keen to learn more about EVs from a fleet operations perspective and are excited about embracing this new technology.”