Industry News

British Gas plugged into UK’s first fully electric car

British Gas and Nissan today announced that British Gas is the preferred supplier of vehicle charging points for Britain's first affordable, practical 100% electric car - the Nissan Leaf.

The deal means that British Gas will supply and install electric car charge points in homes and businesses across the country. Charge points will be installed in domestic garages and driveways, as well as office car parks.

Charge points are more convenient than plugging the cars directly into the home electrical system and will substantially cut the charging time. British Gas will also help Nissan Leaf customers upgrade their home by installing solar panels - so they could charge their electric car for free with the renewable energy they generate.

The Nissan Leaf, which is available to test drive at showrooms from 1 March, is the first affordable, mass market electric family car to be sold in the UK and produces no exhaust emissions. It is much cheaper to run than petrol cars, with a full charge costing less than £2, which gives the Leaf a range of 109 miles.(1).

Customers will pay from £995 for the installation of a charging point by one of British Gas' nationwide network of qualified installers. The deal includes three years of free British Gas Home Electrical CoverTM which gives the customer unlimited call outs for all home electrical repairs, including parts and labour.

Prices for solar panels start at around £9,000. As well as providing the home with free renewable electricity, the panels will also provide a yearly income thanks to the Feed-in Tariff - a scheme that pays owners of solar panels for the renewable electricity they generate(2).

Experts predict that by 2020, electric vehicles could account for approximately 10%(3) of all cars sold in the UK. This equates to 260,000(4) UK households owning an electric vehicle. With 700,000(5) homes expected to have solar panels by 2020, there is major potential for those households with both solar panels, electric vehicles and charging points to run their cars for free. The average annual earnings of up to £900(6) generated by a standard-sized domestic solar panel installation can offset the average annual running costs of a Nissan Leaf.

Phil Bentley, Managing Director of British Gas, said:

"From today, Britons can drive an electric car powered by solar energy. The home of the future is here. A British Gas home with charge points, solar panels and smart meters is now a reality.

"We want our customers to use greener and cheaper energy. Partnering with Nissan on powering their electric cars is a very exciting driver of growth for British Gas as electric vehicles move into the mainstream."

Paul Willcox, Managing Director of Nissan Motor (GB), said:

"The Nissan Leaf is pioneering the electric car revolution in the UK. Leaf drivers will be ‘filling up' with cheaper, cleaner fuel. Teaming up with a trusted brand like British Gas, Britain's biggest supplier of electricity to homes, means that Nissan's Leaf buyers can be assured of prompt and professional service when having their home ‘filling station' installed.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

1 - Source: Nissan Motor (GB)

2 - The Government's Feed-in-Tariff gives three financial benefits:

  • A payment for all the electricity you produce, even if you use it yourself
  • Additional bonus payments for electricity you are deemed to have exported into the grid

• A reduction on your standard electricity bill, from using energy you produce yourself (based on a like for like usage).

3 - Source: Frost and Sullivan. Report commissioned by British Gas - December 2010

4 - Source: Frost and Sullivan. Report commissioned by British Gas - December 2010

5 - Source: DECC Impact Assessment of Feed-in Tariffs for Small-Scale, Low Carbon, Electricity Generation (URN10D/536) - 1st February 2010

6 - Source: 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.

7 - Source: Frost and Sullivan. Report commissioned by British Gas - December 2010

8 - Pod Point will be the supplier of the charger to British Gas

9 - For Home Electrical Cover terms and conditions apply

Media contacts

For further information, please contact:

Elliott Grady - elliott.grady@centrica.com / 0800 107 7015 / 07789 579114

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