british-g-sol-canopyBritish Gas is plugging its company cars into the power of the sun.

The two Nissan LEAFs will be used by staff at offices in Staines and Windsor. Both sites have solar-powered charging canopies, which will supply enough renewable electricity to cover the cars’ fuel needs.

Two cars doing an annual average of 8,000 miles each will need 3840 KWh, based on the distance available after one full charge per day of 100 miles. The powerpark will produce 2,700 kWh, one canopy will cover 70% of the fuel costs for both cars. There are solar canopies at both the Windsor and Staines British Gas sites meaning that both cars can have their fuel covered by solar charging.

British Gas has also announced its aim to have 1,000 electric vans being used by British Gas heating engineers by 2015, starting with 25 next year.

british-g-leaf1Electric cars are expected to become commonplace on British roads. Experts predict that by 2020, electric vehicles could account for approximately 10 percent of all car sales with roughly 325,000 sold in the UK each year. This will add up to roughly 1.5 million electric cars on Britain’s roads by 2020 – five percent of all cars2.

British Gas has been working hard to help build the electric car market in Britain. The energy supplier is the preferred installer of electric car charge points for both Nissan and Renault – deals which mean that British Gas will be preferred supplier to 70% of the electric car market in 20123. British Gas was also the first supplier to announce the detail of a tariff specifically designed for electric car owners which will see drivers pay as little as 1.25p a mile to fuel their car.

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Solar canopies reduce CO2 footprint
The solar canopies are part of a bigger program of low carbon projects within British Gas. Last year, British Gas installed solar thermal panels on three of its buildings. This year it plans to complete seven similar projects across five British Gas sites. This is part of the company’s plan to cut its UK carbon footprint by 25% by 2015.

Speaking at the unveiling, Philip Hammond MP, Secretary of State for Transport, said: “Working together I am confident that we can make Britain a global leader in the use of electric and other ultra-low emission cars and at the forefront of efforts to decarbonise motoring”

And Steve McLennan, Marketing Director, Nissan Motor GB Ltd, who also attended the unveiling of the two solar-powered EV charging stations, noted that, “LEAF owners will be ‘filling up’ with cheaper, cleaner fuel with many drivers, like British Gas, taking advantage of clean solar energy to power their car.”

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