An order for 1,000 examples of the new electric Vauxhall Vivaro-e van has been placed by British Gas.

Vauxhall claims the deal is the largest electric vehicle order yet seen from a commercial fleet in the UK.

The vans will be rolled out to British Gas engineers nationwide over the next 12 months. They will be allocated to engineers who volunteer, but also targeting areas where emissions need to be lowered and where a van already needs replacing.

A programme of charger installations at engineers’ homes is also planned, with British Gas currently training engineers in EV charging.

British Gas parent company Centrica has committed to electrifying its 12,000-strong fleet by 2030, and is said to be planning further orders for electric Vauxhalls as soon as they are available.

British Gas managing director Matthew Bateman said: “Our engineers and their vans are part of the local community they serve and it’s important we reduce the emissions of our vans so that we are contributing towards better air quality in their area and the environment. 

“We are committed to the transition to electric vehicles which involves changing our fleet as well as helping consumers and businesses with charge points and infrastructure. 

“We chose to work with Vauxhall as they were able to give us a large number of high-quality and low emission vans to help us effectively serve our customers – and they will also work with us on future EV solutions. 

“Transport is a key area where we can improve carbon emissions and is an important part of our strategy to meet our net zero targets.”

Vauxhall Motors managing director Stephen Norman said: “I am delighted that British Gas has confirmed the UK’s largest order of battery electric vehicles with the Vauxhall Vivaro-e.

“As with all businesses up and down the country, tradespeople rely on their van as an essential tool of their work and our 300-strong Retailer network is crucial in continuing to provide support to carry British business. 

“The strength of the quantity of orders for our all-electric van demonstrates that the Vauxhall Vivaro-e, the first step in the electrification of our entire van range, can contribute towards the transition towards low emissions vehicles whilst improving air quality.”