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British Gas orders 1000 electric vans - plus the latest light commercial newcomers

 Published 22nd July 2020
Electric Vehicles 

The British Gas order for 1000 electric vans has done two things: it's confirmation of Centrica (owner of British Gas) and its commitment to electrifying its 12,000 strong fleet by 2030; and it's clearly put electric vans on the map for all van and fleet operators.

Because if British Gas engineers can run around in electric vans, then plenty of other fleets and trades can do so, too.

The Vauxhall Vivaro e vans will be delivered over the next 12 months to engineers that have volunteered but also targeting areas where it would be beneficial to lower emissions and where a van already needs replacing. British Gas engineers will install electric chargers at engineer homes.

Matthew Bateman, who is the managing director of British Gas, explained the decision. He said:

“Our engineers and their vans are part of the local community they serve and it's important we reduce the emissions of our vans so that we are contributing towards better air quality in their area and the environment. We are committed to the transition to electric vehicles which involves changing our fleet as well as helping consumers and businesses with charge points and infrastructure. We chose to work with Vauxhall as they were able to give us a large number of high-quality and low emission vans to help us effectively serve our customers – and they will also work with us on future EV solutions.”

The British Gas deal is not the only thing that's happening in the light commercial vehicle sector, although the theme is predominantly electric. Here's our pick of the most recent new vans and updates in the LCV sector.

Ford Transit Connect Active

Ford Transit Connect gets Active

A tougher looking Transit Connect is now available as part of Ford's new Active range. Designed for off-road work, the front suspension has been raised by 24mm at the front and by 9mm at the rear.

A limited slip diff is available for use on particularly slippery surfaces. Ford calls it mLSD, and this automatically transfers engine torque in low-grip conditions to the wheel with the most traction, allowing drivers to more comfortably tackle wet, slippery and challenging surfaces including unpaved roads and gravel tracks. Click here for our Ford Transit Connect Leasing page.

Land Rover Defender Hardtop

Land Rover revives Defender Hard Top

If you want a bit of nostalgia wrapped up in the latest technology, then this is the commercial vehicle for you. Land Rover has revived the Hard Top name for the commercial version of its new Defender model.

The Hard Top was demountable on the original fifties Defenders, and while the new version only has a fixed roof, it pays tribute to the original with its visual graphic.

The new Defender Hard Top will be available later in the year, available in both 90 and 110 versions.


LEVC reveals its new ‘no range anxiety' VN5

The VN5 shares much of its architecture with the LEVC taxi and offers commercial vehicle fleet managers the opportunity to significantly lower emission without range anxiety. The van can travel 58 miles in zero emission mode or 300 miles operating as a hybrid with a small petrol engine. LEVC says it is perfect for a ‘distribution to door' service, travelling from warehouse to city drop off and engaging battery only power in urban areas.

There are three grades - Business, City and Ultima - plus a range of options. With up to 5.5 cu m capacity, plus a side opening door, the VN5's cargo capacity easily accommodates two Euro sized pallets with a gross payload of 830kg. If you are interested in this van, please call us on 01299 407 360 to discuss a business leasing deal.

Renault Zoe Commercial

Renault announces commercial version of Zoe

Renault has converted its electric Zoe car to a commercial vehicle by removing the rear seats to create a flat load floor. A mesh bulkhead has been added behind the front seats while the rear doors bring an extra dimension of versatility, enabling access via the side of the vehicle. For added security, the rear windows are disabled and covered in an opaque film. Load volume is 1 cu m while payload is 387kg on the Business model; the Business + version is slightly less.

Powering the Zoe Van is an 80kW electric motor fed by the same 52kWh battery from the car, which provides a range of up to 245 miles on a single charge. Call us on 01299 407 360 to discuss leasing the Zoe Van.

Vauxhall Vivao e

Specifications of new Vauxhall Vivaro e revealed

And here we are back where we started with the electric Vivaro. Available for delivery in October, the Vivaro e specification comes in two trim levels, Dynamic and Elite. There are two lengths - L1H1 and L2H1 - plus Van and Double Cab body styles and to keep everything in twos, there are also two battery sizes, 50kWh and 75kWh.

The 50kWh battery provides a range of 144 miles on half payload, while the larger 75kWh battery will go 205 miles.

Drivers can select one of three driving modes, Power, Normal and Eco depending on their requirement respectively: increased performance for heavier loads, optimised for daily use or lowest energy consumption. Vauxhall says payload is best in class at 1226kg.

We have Vauxhall Vivaro e lease deals available - click here to discover what we can do for you to electrify your van.

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