Centrica has launched an electric vehicle (EV) salary sacrifice scheme for its employees but is warning that the ongoing semiconductor shortage could thwart its electric ambitions.
Centrica has committed to fully electrifying its 12,500-strong operational fleet by 2025. It already has almost 700 fully electric Vauxhall Vivaro-e British Gas vans being driven by engineers and a total of 3,000 set to be delivered by the end of 2022.
It has now partnered with LeasePlan to provide a route to battery-powered, zero emission motoring for employees with more than 100 cars ordered since the scheme launched less than two weeks ago, including the Volkswagen ID3 and Audi Q4.
Everyone who signs up for the scheme is offered a bundled deal including a new leased electric car, a charge point installed by British Gas engineers as well as servicing, insurance, and maintenance.
Steve Winter, head of fleet at Centrica, said, “Centrica is committed to offering colleagues and customers sustainable choices for their homes and transport.
“We have the people, infrastructure and skills to lead the transition to net zero transportation and offering colleagues in the UK an electric car lease with a BG charge point installation is a big step towards supporting customers and colleagues to live more sustainably.”
Centrica operates 9,000 commercial vehicles, 1,500 company cars and has a grey fleet of approximately 2,000 employee-owned vehicles that are used occasionally for business purposes.
Lead times ‘significant obstacle’ to EV ambitions
Fleet operators and company car drivers face delays of more than one year for certain new car and van models, while others are being delivered with missing features, as the global semiconductor shortage worsens.
Fleets are being urged to sit tight and continue to place orders for new vehicles, while also being warned that existing models may have to remain on the road for in excess of an extra 12 months.
Winter said: “Availability and lead times on electric vehicles is becoming a significant obstacle to our ambitions.
“We support policies such as the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate that can help not only ensure the supply of EVs in the UK but should bring greater parity between the cost of electric and internal combustion vehicles.”