British Gas has successfully ended its six-month winter trial of 28 Nissan e-NV200 vans and has placed immediate order for 50 units, with 50 more bound for delivery by the end of the calendar year. The nation-wide pilot of 28 vans is part of British Gas’ commitment of making 10 percent of its fleet of 13,000 home service vans are all-electric by 2017.
The six-month pilot that started in November 2013 had Nissan and British Gas collaborate with Hitachi Capital Commercial Vehicle Solutions to manage the fleet operations and Gateshead College to train drivers in how to drive the e-NV200. Hitachi Capital will provide funding for the purchase as well as manage the fleet of all-electric vehicles.
During the trial, the 28 e-NV200s covered over 60,000 miles between them. The pilot was launched to evaluate how the vans performed in winter conditions during typical British Gas home services daily usage patterns. Paul Kidd, a British Gas Service & Repair engineer, remarked that the Nissan e-NV200 made driving between customer’s homes “a little bit easier.”
He remarked that the van’s ride was smooth and stress-free, adding that he was “really disappointed” when he had to give it back. He said he would recommend the Nissan e-NV200 van to other engineers. Colin Marriott, general manager of fleet at British Gas stated that they were “extremely impressed” with the performance of the Nissan e-NV200 during the winter trial.
He noted feedback from their engineers speaks for itself, with the majority of them wanting to keep the van permanently. He said that making an order of 100 Nissan e-NV200s demonstrates British Gas’ continued commitment to leading the adoption of EV technology among large vehicle fleets in the United Kingdom.
Jim Wright, Nissan GB managing director, said: “The success of this closely-watched trial with one of Britain’s biggest organisations puts Nissan in a great position in time for the official launch of the e-NV200 this June. The feedback we have received from the British gas engineers has been invaluable as it has ensured that the e-NV200 that goes on sale in June is well-suited to British road and business conditions and we have high expectations for its future and ongoing success.”