British Gas have unveiled a fleet of brand new fully electric and solar powered Nissan Leaf cars to be used by staff in Staines and Windsor. Both sites have a solar-powered charging canopy which will supply enough renewable electricity to cover the fuel needs of the cars.
The new cars are just the start of a British Gas initiative which aims to have 1,000 electric vans being used by their engineers by 2015. They will continue their plan by having another 25 vans covered by van insurance early next year. The unveiling of the new cars shows that British Gas will not be simply installing electric car charge points for both Nissan and Renault customers, they also have a long term plan to eventually change all of their vehicles to electric.
The solar canopies at Staines and Windsor are part of a larger programme within British Gas who have also installed solar thermal panels on three of their buildings and the plan is to increase this number to ten by the end of the year. They were also the first energy supplier to announce a tariff for all electric vehicle owners which will see motorists paying as little as 1.25p per mile to charge the vehicle.
Philip Hammond MP, Secretary of State for Transport, said “I commend British Gas for this excellent initiative. It is an outstanding example of private enterprise helping to promote low emission vehicle technology. A low carbon future is the only viable future for transport. But we must acknowledge that it is carbon, not the car, which is the problem. The Government is doing its bit by providing grants towards the purchase of low emission vehicles and increasing charging points across the county.”
The world of energy is changing and the link-up between British Gas and Nissan brings two of the leading lights together in what promises to be a lucrative partnership.