Nissan and British Gas have launched the UK’s largest electric commercial vehicle pilot. British Gas is testing 28 Nissan e-NV200 vans (earlier post) throughout the winter to determine the future viability of battery-electric vehicle technology as part of its 13,000 home service vans fleet. The test is being run in collaboration with Hitachi Capital Commercial Vehicle Solutions and Gateshead College.
Nissan has been globally piloting the e-NV200 for two years ahead of the van going on sale to the public next year.
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 patterns.
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 (Institute of Motor Industry) training to a high level in conjunction with Gateshead College and will be involved in generating accurate total cost of ownership modeling 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 e-NV200.