Although the energy giant’s innovation director Dan Taylor admitted it has dropped forecasts slightly, the firm still expects more than one million EVs to be on the roads by 2020. This could require an infrastructure two million charging points.
British Gas is determined to play a leading role in creating a charging infrastructure because, as Taylor said: “It will impact our customers through their electricity bills.”
“We can bring the benefits to life through charging solutions and tariffs,” Taylor said.
Through the company’s Time
of Use Tariff, he said customers can charge an EV for £2.70 at non-peak times compared with £3.70 at peak rates, from 7pm
to 11pm.
British Gas is currently trialling six EVs – three Ford Transit Connects and three Nissan NV200s – but aims to have 125 by the end of 2013.
“Our engineers take their vans home at night. With EVs they will continue to follow this model,” said Taylor.
To enable home charging British Gas fits a circuit for EVs with a three-pin plug on a separate fuse. With engineers working dedicated patches, Taylor predicted each would typically use two charge points – one domestic and the other at a workplace.
Taylor admitted the market would remain “tentative” towards EVs while uncertainty over RVs remained, and said British Gas was lobbying for further incentives beyond the £8000 Plug-in Van Grant, including “softer benefits” such as allowing the use of bus lanes and guaranteeing congestion charge exemption.