Toyota has named British Gas as its preferred supplier of electric vehicle charging points, ahead of introducing the new Prius Plug-in Hybrid to the UK market in 2012.
British Gas will be offering Toyota customers – both private and fleet/business buyers – a range of products and services for safe, convenient and efficient vehicle recharging, designed to suit individual needs and preferences.
British Gas is expected to be the preferred supplier for 70% of the national electric vehicle market in 2012, according to research by Market Gravity, 2011. Calculations were based upon projections of car manufacturers’ electric vehicle (EV) market share.
British Gas are hoping to take full advantage of automotive manufacturers’ drive to increase the number of EV charging points in the UK.
Jon Williams, Toyota GB managing director, said: “In order for our customers to maximise the benefits of Prius Plug-in Hybrid, and Toyota’s future EVs, it is crucial that they have access to the appropriate charging infrastructure, and the right professional advice and support. British Gas has the experience, skills and resources to provide the high quality products and services Toyota owners should expect.”
British Gas will support customers using Toyota’s new range of electric vehicles by offering a full free of charge site survey, giving advice on the best way to equip their home for electric vehicle charging.
The installation options include a dedicated circuit with a three-pin socket, costing from £275, and a purpose-designed charging unit for safe, easy, fast and future-proof charging, priced from £799.
The charging unit can be protected by British Gas’s Home Electrical Care three-year protection package, which includes call-outs for home electrical repairs. Help with budgeting is available too, with finance options to spread the cost if required, and the availability of cheaper off-peak charging so cars can be charged more cheaply at night.
British Gas is also the supplier of choice for Nissan’s EVs, which includes the Nissan LEAF, winner of the Low Cvp Vehicle of the Year Award 2011. “We also use British Gas as our preferred provider,” said Matt Loader, design and technology communications manager at Nissan europe, “the company is arranging Nissan’s home installation and home charging units as well.”
Mr Loader told The Manufacturer at the Low CvP awards in November that “the impetuous is on improving the EV charging infrastructure, when this happens, we will see a growth in the number of EV’s on UK roads.”
This reiterates the sentiments of Toyota’s Jon Williams, anchoring the point that partnerships must be made to aid the uptake of both EVs and charging points.
Mr Loader noted that having a nationwide framework and the means to roll out EV charging points across the country was a major advantage that British Gas had over its competitors.
Dean Keeling, managing director of British Gas Smart Homes, said: “Electric cars are coming of age and this new partnership with Toyota is part of a continued drive by British Gas to make any type of electrically powered car simple, safe and more cost-effective.
Mr Keeling added: “Our national network of electrical engineers provides all the advice and expertise necessary to enable car owners to power their car safely and easily, and for less money.”