11.5.2012 British Gas fleet tests Nissan's e-NV200
Nissan's e-NV200 test car has helped British Gas kick-start its ambition of switching 10% of its 14,000 vehicle fleet to electric by the end of 2015.
British Gas has been trialling a Nissan e-NV200 teat car for a few weeks at its Leicester and Newbury depots, the first OEM van of its kind ever to grace the fleet.
Nissan have been helping British Gas determine which of its 14,000 drivers' daily travel patterns are most suited to an electric van's typical working range, including getting to and from work.
The van was run at maximum gross vehicle weight during the trial which shadowed drivers from British Gas' national network of trained engineers as they carried out their daily duties. In that time the van covered over 1,200 miles.
British Gas is among other utility providers that are at the forefront of supporting electric vehicle owners by installing charging units both at home and for businesses. As electric cars and vans begin to come of age, British Gas feels that the time is right for electric vehicles to be incorporated into their fleets.
Colin Marriott, general manager of the British Gas fleet said that, "With fuel prices continuing to rise, one of the biggest benefits of Nissan's e-NV200 is the breakthrough in long term running cost savings."
Another task of the e-NV200 test car has been to put drivers into an EV sometimes for the very first time and get them used to their performance characteristics and the charging procedure. Colin Marriott said that those who drove the e-NV200 test car would be happy to completely do away with diesel vehicles and go completely electric.
Nissan is running a global proving test with large commercial fleets to find out how the e-NV200 test car performs under real operating conditions. It has already undergone trials with the Japan Post Service and FedEx in the UK, and British Gas is the latest company to contribute to the pre launch activities. So far it has received positive comments for its CO2 reduction, driving comfort and generous carrying capacity and payload.
"Working with large fleets such as British Gas is invaluable to ensure we receive a range of driver and operator feedback on the new van before its launch," explained Francis Bleasdale, Nissan’s sales and marketing director.
"The global trial of the e-NV200 is part of our process of making continuous enhancements to the vehicle before unveiling the production vehicle," he added.
Nissan has a close working relationship with British Gas as it has been its preferred supplier of home and office electric charging points for LEAF electric car customers since 2011.
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