Record van EV order for Vauxhall

British Gas has ordered 2000 Vivaro-e electric vans from Vauxhall in what the manufacturer claimed is the largest order of its kind for a UK commercial fleet.

The new vehicles are in addition to the 1000 ordered last summer by the Centrica-owned company, as part of its intention to never again buy a combustion-engined vehicle and electrify its entire 12,000-vehicle fleet by 2025. All 3000 of the Vivaro-e vehicles that have been ordered for British Gas engineers will be on the road by 2022, with higher pollution areas prioritised for roll-out.

The company will install charge point at its employee’s homes.

“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,” said Centrica chief executive Chris O’Shea. “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.”

New EV drivers survey seeks public charge opinions

A new survey has been launched by the Electric Vehicle Association England, seeking feedback on the public charging infrastructure in order to form a response to the Government’s consultation on consumer experience of public charging.

The survey, which runs until 15 March and can be found here should take no more than 10 minutes to complete, and will be anonymised and used to feed into the official EVA England response to the consultation, which is available to view here  and is investigating how to best ensure reliable charge points are easy to find and payment methods are streamlined.

“A mass market for electric cars and vans is just around the corner and if we don’t address a host of basic issues for drivers now, we won’t get consumer buy-in for this historic transition. We strongly support this consultation and are running this survey to provide evidence for the Government on where it needs to intervene and how,” said EVA England director Gill Nowell. “We encourage all current EV drivers to take our survey, including those with Battery Electric Vehicles and Plug-in Hybrids. This is an important opportunity for EV drivers to have their voice heard on topics close to their heart, namely ‘can I find a charger, can I easily pay, and does it work’?”

FCA warns Buy 2 Let Cars against writing new business

The Financial Conduct Authority has ordered Raedex Consortium Limited, owner of Buy 2 Let Cars and Rent 2 Own Cars, to cease writing new car lease business over concerns about its finances, although it warned existing customers that they must continue to make payments on existing deals.

“Buy 2 Let Cars Ltd. is not regulated by the FCA,” said the FCA’s official statement. “Investors should be aware that Raedex is not permitted to arrange new leases with customers. Therefore investors looking to invest in hire cars should not make investments through Buy 2 Let Cars Ltd. as the monies cannot be invested in cars which are then leased out.

The company works on the same basis as buy-to-let properties, where investors lend their money to Buy2LetCars for three years, with the company claiming a 7-11% return per annum.

“We are surprised at the FCA’s interpretation of accepted accounting standards and principles,” said the directors of Raedex Consortium, which owns the business, as quoted in The Guardian newspaper. “We would like to reassure our customers that we fully intend to challenge this and will be in touch with them directly this week.”

Guest Opinion: Exciting times as corporate fleets drive the switch to electric vehicles

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