British Gas has placed a follow up order for 2,000 Vauxhall Vivaro-e all-electric vans for its engineers, that adds to the 1,000 purchased last Summer. In total, 3,000 Vivaro-e will be put on the road by 2022!

That's the largest commercial electric vehicle order in the UK, and one of the largest in Europe, but only the beginning of mass electrification that is happening this decade.

British Gas in particular announced that it will electrify its entire fleet of 12,000 vehicles (3rd largest in the UK) by 2025, which is five years earlier than its previous commitment (2030).

In other words, the company has a plan to never purchase another combustion engine vehicle. It's over.

British Gas EVs: Vauxhall Vivaro-e
British Gas EVs: Vauxhall Vivaro-e
British Gas EVs: Vauxhall Vivaro-e
British Gas EVs: Vauxhall Vivaro-e

One of the most important notes for the Vauxhall brand (part of the PSA Group, and Stellantis) is that British Gas intends to make "further orders with Vauxhall for electric vehicles as soon as they are available." That sounds like potential sales of thousands of additional electric vehicles, including the smaller and bigger van models.

According to the press release, Centrica, the parent company to British Gas, also intends to purchase 1,500 company electric cars by 2025.

The cool thing is that British Gas will install home charging stations at the engineers' homes so they will be able to start the day with a fully charged battery. Depending on the battery version (50 or 75 kWh) the range of the Vauxhall Vivaro-e is around 230 km (143 miles) or 330 km (205 miles) WLTP.

Chris O’Shea, Chief Executive of Centrica, said:

“Everyone needs to act now to lower carbon emissions and help the UK reach net zero. We are leading from the front by not only lowering emissions for our customers and our communities, but by lowering our own emissions, and by increasing the speed at which we do this. Fully electrifying our fleet will make a big difference.

“At the same time, we are helping our customers make the switch to electric and working with motor manufacturers such as Vauxhall on services and solutions for their EV customers such as charge points, infrastructure and innovative EV tariffs with cheaper charging at night and free EV miles.

“We look forward to continuing to work in partnership with the Government to create the new jobs our country needs as we all seek to build back greener.”

Paul Willcox, Managing Director of Vauxhall Motors, said:

“I am delighted that British Gas has added to its initial order of fully-electric Vauxhall Vivaro-e vans that now represents the largest electric vehicle order for a commercial fleet in the UK. As the oldest British vehicle Brand since 1903, I want to thank British Gas, a fellow British business, for their loyalty and trust in Vauxhall.

“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 can contribute towards the transition towards low emissions vehicles whilst improving air quality.”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:

“It’s encouraging to see that one of Britain’s best-known brands is leading the way with the largest commercial EV fleet in the UK.

“This is a huge step as we build back greener, lower our carbon footprint and deliver better air quality up and down the country – with more zero-emission models of cars and vans on the market than ever before, there has never been a better time for drivers and businesses to make the switch.”

Gallery: Vauxhall Vivaro-e

Opel Vivaro-e / Vauxhall Vivaro-e delivery vans:

  • up to 230 km (143 miles) of WLTP range with 50 kWh battery (18 modules)
  • up to 330 km (205 miles) of WLTP range with 75 kWh battery (27 modules)
  • three lengths and with many body variants
  • payload of up to 1,275 kg depending on particular version (compared to 1,405 kg in ICE)
  • up to 6.6 m3 of cargo volume
  • gross vehicle weights ranging from 2,800 to 3,100 kg
  • towing option of up to 1,000 kg
  • top speed of 130 km/h (81 mph)
  • front-wheel drive
  • 100 kW and 260 Nm electric motor
  • on-board charger: single-phase 7.4 kW or three-phase 11 kW
  • DC fast charging (by 80% SOC) in about 30 minutes (50 kWh) or about 45 minutes (75 kWh) using 100 kW charger
  • battery warranty: eight-year/160,000 km (100,000 miles)