British Gas powers ahead in the electric car market

British Gas will be the preferred supplier of vehicle charging points for Renault's new range of zero emission fully-electric vans and cars in the UK.

British Gas and Renault today announced that British Gas will be the preferred supplier of vehicle charging points for Renault's new range of zero emission fully-electric vans and cars(1) in the UK.

The deal builds on British Gas' agreement with Nissan to be the preferred supplier of charge points to their electric car in the UK(2). Market analysis suggests that British Gas will be the preferred supplier for 70% of the electric vehicle market in the UK in 2012(3).

The agreement with Renault, announced at the technical forum for the RAC Future Car Challenge at Imperial College London, means that British Gas will supply and install electric car charge points in homes and businesses across the country. Renault will launch the electric Kangoo Van Z.E. later this year followed by a range of fully-electric cars - the new Fluence Z.E. and ZOE car models and an innovative urban two-seater, the Twizy.

Today's announcement is further indication of the growing electric vehicle market in the UK. Experts predict that by 2020, electric vehicles could account for approximately 10%of all vehicles sold in the UK(4). This equates to 260,000 UK households owning an electric vehicle(5). And with 700,000 homes expected to have solar panels by 2020(6), there is major potential for those households with both solar panels, electric vehicles and charging points to run their vehicles with free renewable energy. The average annual earnings of up to £900generated by a standard-sized domestic solar panel installation can offset the average annual running costs of a zero emission electric vehicle(7).

Customers will pay from £995 including VAT for the domestic installation of a charging point by one of British Gas' nationwide network of qualified installers. Charging points are more convenient and safer than plugging the vehicles directly into the home electricity system and will cut the charging time by a third. Research shows that 59% of charging in 2020 will be at home, compared to 32% at work and only 9% will use public charging(8).

Customers will also benefit from three years of free British Gas Home Electrical CareTM* which gives the customer unlimited call outs for all home electrical repairs, including parts and labour. British Gas has also recently announced an electricity tariff designed specifically for electric car owners. This will make it cheaper to charge vehicles overnight and could save customers as much as £1,200 a year compared to owners of petrol cars(9). British Gas is trialing the tariff with customers this summer and the new tariff will be fully available from the beginning of 2012. All customers on the tariff will have a smart meter installed which will give them access to flexible "time of use" tariffs, put an end to estimated bills and give them access to smart appliances.

Dean Keeling, Managing Director of British Gas Smart Homes, said:

"The market for electric vehicles in Britain is growing fast. With our national network of electrical engineers, our electricity supply business, our solar panel business and our roll out of smart meters, British Gas is well placed to be at the forefront of that market. We can help electric car owners power their car for less money and from renewable sources."

Thierry Sybord, Managing Director of Renault UK, said:

"The electric revolution is on its way and Renault is leading the pack with its full range of electric vehicles. Partnering with British Gas, Britain's biggest supplier of electricity to homes, means Renault Z.E. range customers can access competitive, quality charging technology and rely upon a prompt and professional service. We selected British Gas for the strength of their service network, the quality and competitiveness of the wallbox offering and the strength of their marketing."




* For Home Electrical Care terms and conditions apply.

About the Future Car Challenge

British Gas is the official energy provider of the RAC Future Car Challenge.

The RAC Brighton to London Future Car Challenge takes place on 5th November 2011, the day before the Royal Automobile Club's world famous London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, using the traditional 60-mile veteran car run route in reverse. The aim is for vehicles to use the least energy possible in the 60-mile route.

(1) Zero emissions in road use. British Gas also has propositions that help customers lower their carbon footprint. The energyshare tariff, for example, matches a customers electricity use with electricity from 100% British renewable sources.

(2) Renault and Nissan are Alliance partners

(3) According to research by Market Gravity, 2011 - calculated based on projections of car manufacturers' EV market share

(4) Frost and Sullivan. Report commissioned by British Gas - December 2010

(5) Frost and Sullivan. Report commissioned by British Gas - December 2010

(6) Figures from the Department for Energy and Climate Change - Impact Assessment of Feed-in Tariffs for Small-Scale, Low Carbon, Electricity Generation (URN10D/536) - 1stFebruary 2010

(7) British Gas. British Gas figures show that home owners with a mid-sized array (2.52kWp systems) will make around £884 a year from the generation element of the Feed-In Tariff and £64 from the export element

(8) Research from Market Gravity, 2011 - calculated based on projections of car manufacturers' EV market share

(9) Figures based on British Gas calculations using average UK standard Economy 7 night rate, 100 mile charge range, 95% charging efficiency. The £1200 was based on a comparison with a 1.6l car comparing the annual cost of fuel for 10000 miles. The Kangoo Van Z.E. will cost 1.25p per mile - so £125 for the year compared to 15p a mile for the petrol car (£1463 per year). The calculation assumes 42.2 miles to the gallon and petrol costs of 135.8p a litre. For the standard petrol car, a 50l tank gives 464 miles. A Kangoo Van Z.E. can do 100 miles per charge (costing £1.25) so needs to do 4.64 charges to replicate the 50l tank costing £5.80 (or £6 rounded up). Changes in driving style, use of radio and air conditioning, and terrain will affect driving and charge range.