Nissan And British Gas Launch UK's Largest Ever Electric Commercial Vehicle Pilot


LONDON – Nov 29, 2013: British Gas is piloting 28 Nissan e-NV200
vans throughout the winter to determine the future viability of 100%
electric vehicle technology as part of its 13,000 home service vans fleet.
Run in collaboration with Hitachi Capital Commercial Vehicle Solutions and
Gateshead College, the pilot will see the four strategic partners working
together during this testing period.

Nissan has been globally piloting the e-NV200 for two years ahead of the
van going on sale to the public next year. As the UK’s largest ever
electric commercial vehicle evaluation to date, the winter test underlines
the importance of the relationship between Nissan and British Gas to be
involved in this important phase of zero-emission vehicle testing.

The pilot of the Nissan e-NV200s is being conducted nationwide from
November 2013 until April 2014 to assess how the vans perform in winter
conditions during typical British Gas home services daily usage

As part of a long-standing contract to manage the entire fleet for
Centrica, British Gas’ parent company, Hitachi Capital Commercial
Vehicle Solutions’ dedicated British Gas team has been involved with
extensive testing to prove the concept and played a key role in rolling out
to engineers and then providing on-going 24 hour support.

Hitachi Capital has also undertaken IMI training to a high level in
conjunction with Gateshead College and will be involved in generating
accurate total cost of ownership modelling to compare this technology with
conventional the internal combustion engine drivetrain.

Gateshead College has delivered all of the training to the British Gas
drivers to ensure they are fully briefed in how to drive and live with the
100% electric Nissan e-NV200. Local to Nissan’s Sunderland Plant,
Gateshead College is Europe’s leading facility for training in LCV
development and will ensure drivers are fully able to exploit the Nissan

Available on forecourts next year, the Nissan e-NV200 is a breakthrough
zero emission compact van that promises an dramatic reduction in running
costs while also helping the environment by bringing CO2 emissions down to
zero at the point of use. As British Gas home services engineers operate
within a defined zone, the Nissan e-NV200 can easily operate within a
British Gas’ daily usage pattern.

Colin Marriott, general manager fleet at British Gas said:
“We’re committed to leading the industry in reducing the amount
of carbon and other harmful tail pipe emissions emitted by our 13,000
strong vehicle fleet, This trial, the largest of its kind in the UK, is a
great opportunity for us to understand how the Nissan e-NV200 vans perform
during the winter as we move towards our goal of having at least 10% of our
fleet running on electricity by 2015.

“We have worked closely with Nissan and Hitachi Capital to ensure
that the Nissan e-NV200 is ready to support our engineers during even the
most demanding of winter conditions. All 28 have also been provided with a
British Gas home charging point and access cards to public infrastructure
to keep the vehicles charged up. I would like to thank Nissan, Hitachi
Capital and Gateshead College who have all supported us to make this trial
a reality.”

Jim Wright, Nissan GB managing director, said: “We’re proud
to be providing the vehicles and services for the UK’s largest ever
electric commercial vehicle pilot in conjunction with our strategic
partners. Piloting such a large number of vans with British Gas in advance
of the e-NV200 going on sale in 2014, underlines the closeness of our
relationship and marks the final stages of the vehicle’s

“Our engineers will take the feedback of the British Gas drivers
to ensure we launch a vehicle perfectly suited to British road and business
conditions. With an expected harsh winter ahead, the 28Nissan e-NV200s will
be delivering home services around the country whatever the weather,
demonstrating how strongly the 100% electric van can perform for large
fleets with challenging daily routines.”

Jon Lawes, Hitachi Capital Commercial Vehicle Solutions divisional
managing director, said: “We have enjoyed a long relationship with
Centrica and the British Gas team, and if this pilot proves a success it
could mark a tipping point in the evolution of the commercial electric
vehicle market.

“After working closely with British Gas, Nissan and Gateshead
College to set up the pilot we will continue to play a major part in
monitoring its progress throughout the winter months before analysing the
results with our strategic partners and deciding on next steps.”

Mick Brophy, managing director of business, innovation development at
Gateshead College, said: “We are proud to be a part of this flagship
development in low carbon technology. If Britain is to continue to lead the
world in the development and adoption of cleaner vehicles, we must also
provide top-quality training for the people who will design, build and
service them.

“Our purpose built Skills Academy for Sustainable Manufacturing
Innovation – the UK’s first education center dedicated to the
clean technologies sector – was perfectly equipped to deliver this type of
training, which was tailored to meet the needs of British Gas and

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