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British Gas And Hitachi To Lease Home Charging Points

The first deal of its kind, Hitachi’s customers will now be able to lease an electric vehicle in an agreement which includes installing and maintaining a charging point. British Gas Home Electrical Care will provide a three year unlimited callout service, including parts and labour, for drivers. 

Both companies hope this will improve take-up of EVs among business users, by reducing range anxiety and slashing recharging times by a third.

Chris Shore, pricing manager at Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions, said: ‘Many drivers concerns around electric vehicles lie in “range anxiety” – worries about how far they can travel on one battery charge.

‘The ability to provide a safe and convenient charging point in a driver’s own home or place of business is therefore crucial to alleviating concerns and making them feel more comfortable about choosing an electric vehicle.’

Hitachi recently added the Nissan LEAF and Citroen C-Zero to its fleet to test the viability of using electric vehicles as a replacement for conventionally powered cars. The data gathered will inform its future fleet decisions, including the feasibility of running an electric van.

It sees the EV market as fast-growing, too. By 2020, 10% of all vehicles will be electric, equating to 260,000 UK households and businesses. In the meantime, it says 50% of these will be sourced through leasing companies.

British Gas, meanwhile, recently signed agreements to become the preferred UK supplier of charging points for Renault and Nissan, a deal which it said would give it a 70% share of the market in 2012.

‘The market for electric vehicles in Britain is growing fast, and the fact that Hitachi Capital has decided to add EVs to its fleet offering really confirms this,’ added Dean Keeling, managing director of British Gas Smart Homes.

‘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 electric car owners power their car for less money and from renewable sources.’

Alex Grant

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