Last week British Gas completed a trial with one of Nissan’s prototype electric vehicles. As one of the UK’s leading energy provider, British Gas has a large fleet of vans which travel across the country to various customers. In order to hopefully minimise their impact on the environment, the company tested the Nissan e-NV200 van by having it shadow their current vans on a normal working day, from depots in Newbury and Leicester.
Putting the Van to the Test
In order to determine whether Nissan’s electric van could meet their requirements, the Nissan e-NV200 was filled to capacity and travelled over 1,200 miles alongside British Gas’ standard vans. By doing this they could gauge how well the electric van performed and if it could be a suitable, energy efficient alternative.
The energy provider is looking to switch 10% of its 14,000 light commercial fleet to electric. General Manager of the British Gas fleet, Colin Marriott said, “With fuel prices continuing to rise, one of the biggest benefits of Nissan e-NV200 is the breakthrough in long term running costs savings. Over the course of the trial, our Nissan e-NV200 test car drivers have told us they are happy to do away with the diesel and go electric”. You have to imagine fleet managers would be equally happy to jump on the electric vehicle bandwagon from a financial perspective, as it leaves extra funding for quality commercial vehicle insurance.
Nissan Electric Vehicles
With positive reviews like this, there is great confidence that the electric vehicle industry will get a strong boost with more and more companies wanting to capitalise on the benefits. Nissan has already gone through similar trials with FedEx and Japan Post Services.
A spokeswoman for the car manufacturer commented, “The feedback has been really positive. Obviously electric vans are not going to be suitable for every application, but where you have routes in and around towns they are perfect. The consensus from the trials is this is a very workable option.”
The Nissan e-NV200 is still going through development while the Nissan Leaf is their current 100% electric vehicle. The Leaf is on sale from £25,990 and many of its drivers can benefit from the electric car grant scheme which has now been extended to cover vans, prompting more fleet managers to go electric. The main advantages of electric vehicles are generally lower operating costs, energy efficiency, reduced emissions and simpler engines.