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New carbon-zero chauffeur car service targets corporate fleets

The scheme is being run by Thriev, a sustainable transport start-up based in Tech City, London, with the help of a network of rapid chargers installed, maintained and supplied by British Gas.

Currently the scheme is being trialled with British Gas employees in Staines with Nissan LEAF and Peugeot iOn models, with a number of external contracts to go live this autumn.

The plan is to have 40-50 vehicles running by the end of the year, with around 1,000 by the end of 2014 as Thriev looks to add new contracts, both with private sector firms but also public sector, including local authorities for whom the cost and carbon reduction benefits will be particularly advantageous in line with government targets.

Thriev will then look to roll the service out to consumers from 2014/15, with an app to be made available to book the service. New electric vehicles will also be added as more manufacturers enter the electric vehicle market.

The fleet will be charged by the British Gas network of rapid chargers, which will be expanded to meet demand as new contracts come on board, typically in urban areas.

A key benefit of the service is its carbon-zero status, where each unit of electricity in the network is matched with a unit of 100% British renewable electricity. This means that Thriev will be able to offer car services at highly competitive market rates, offering businesses savings on cash as well as carbon.

Ian Mihajlovic, co-founder at Thriev, said: ‘Business fleets up and down the country are suffering from cost and carbon inefficiencies. Thriev will deliver zero-emission services in the urban centres at low cost by deploying state-of-the-art technologies as well an innovative commercial model. This will mean our service will be cheaper and more convenient than owning a car in places like London both for businesses, but also private use.’

‘British Gas has been at the forefront of creating the UK’s charging infrastructure, and this made it the ideal partner in developing the high-speed charging network which would help us tip the balance on electric vehicles and green our cities for good.’

Andreas Atkins, head of electric vehicle services at British Gas, said: ‘Innovations like Thriev make it possible for businesses to have the best of both worlds, making major reductions in their carbon footprint and saving money at the same time.

‘We’re aiming to convert 10% of our fleet to electric vehicles by 2015, and we’re glad to be helping other businesses to do the same.’

Natalie Middleton

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