British Gas goes green with Mercedes Vito E-Cells21 May 2015

British Gas has invested in a pair of fully-electric Mercedes-Benz Vito E-Cell Traveliner people carriers for employees to travel emissions-free between offices around west London.

The seven-seater Vito E-Cells are the latest stage in British Gas's drive to replace at least 10% of its fleet of 13,000 vans with all-electric vehicles.

"We're committed to reducing our carbon emissions and minimising the impact of our operations on the local environment," states British Gas electric vehicle specialist James Rooney.

"These new vehicles, which produce no pollutants and are also exceptionally quiet in operation, will help to strengthen our commitment," he adds.

Rooney sys British Gas chose the Vito E-Cell because Mercedes-Benz is among the leaders in emerging technologies.

"We also know from experience that Mercedes vehicles are superbly reliable – we have seven Sprinter minibuses in operation already and have just introduced several minibuses with automatic transmissions at a site in Leicester," he explains.

In operation, an 82bhp (60kW) electric motor drives the front wheels, allowing the space beneath the load floor to be used for lithium-ion batteries without impinging on the passenger or cargo area.

The E-Cell also employs a regenerative system that captures energy that would otherwise be lost in braking.

As well as increasing range, this is used to support power for the heating and ventilation system and standard-fit heated seats.

The British Gas vehicles were supplied by Mercedes-Benz Retail Group and are the subject of a CharterWay contract hire agreement with Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, including R&M.

Brian Tinham

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