The electric vans will be used across the country by British Gas engineers. Centrica, owner of British Gas, said it’s committed to electrifying its entire fleet of 12,000 vehicles by 2030.
The Vauxhall Vivaro-e is the sister van to the all-electric Citroen e-Dispatch and Peugeot e-Expert. It was due to be unveiled at this year’s Commercial Vehicle Show, but with the event cancelled due to the coronavirus, the electric van was, fittingly, given a digital launch.
British Gas says it could order a fleet of the smaller Vauxhall Combo-e when it arrives in the summer of 2021.
For now, the Vivaro-e offers the equivalent of 136hp, a payload of up to 1,226kg, and a top speed of 81mph. It’s also the first electric van with the ability to tow a trailer.
The electric range varies depending on the battery size. The 50kWh version should be good for 143 miles, while the 75kWh provides an impressive 205 miles.
Although prices haven’t been announced, a Vivaro-e with a 50kWh battery is expected to cost around £30,000.
‘Build back greener’
Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: “Today’s announcement marks another milestone as we continue on the road to a green transport recovery.
“This is a huge step for such an iconic British company, who are showing leadership in making the switch to zero emission vehicles as we to strive to meet net zero emissions by 2050.
“We’re determined to build back greener – to deliver better air quality and lower our carbon footprint, which is why we’re investing more than ever in zero emission grants and infrastructure.”
Stephen Norman, managing director of Vauxhall, added: “I am delighted that British Gas has confirmed the UK’s largest order of battery electric vehicles with the Vauxhall Vivaro-e.
“As with all businesses up and down the country, tradespeople rely on their van as an essential tool of their work and our 300-strong retailer network is crucial in continuing to provide support to carry British business.
“The strength of the quantity of orders for our all-electric van demonstrates that the Vauxhall Vivaro-e, the first step in the electrification of our entire van range, can contribute towards the transition towards low emissions vehicles whilst improving air quality.”
For more electric vehicle news, visit our sister site Motoring Electric.