deal builds on British Gas’ agreement with Renault’s Alliance partner, 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 vehicle charge points in homes and businesses across the country. Renault launches the electric Kangoo Van Z.E. later this year, followed by a family of fully-electric cars - the new Fluence Z.E. and Zoe car models and an innovative tandem 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 cars sold in the UK(4). This equates to 260,000 UK households owning an electric vehicle(5). 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 cars 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 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).
British Gas customers will also benefit from three years of its free Home Electrical Care™* 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 vehicles (9). British Gas is trialling the tariff with customersthis summer andthe 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 Britian 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 owners power their electric vehicles 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. 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.”