British Gas to supply charge points for Renault

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Renault has announced that British Gas will be its preferred supplier of vehicle charging points for its new range of electric zero-emission car and vans in the UK.

The deal builds on British Gas’ agreement with Renault’s Alliance partner, Nissan, to be the preferred supplier of charge points to their electric car in the UK. Market analysis suggests that British Gas will be the preferred supplier for 70% of the electric vehicle market in the UK in 2012.

The agreement with Renault means that British Gas will supply and install electric vehicle charge points in homes and businesses across the country. Renault launches the electric Kangoo Van Z.E. later this year, followed by a family of fully-electric cars – the new Fluence Z.E. and Zoe car models and an innovative tandem two-seater, the Twizy.

Today’s announcement is further indication of the growing electric vehicle market in the UK. Experts predict that by 2020, electric vehicles could account for approximately 10% of all cars sold in the UK. This equates to 260,000 UK households owning an electric vehicle. With 700,000 homes expected to have solar panels by 2020, there is major potential for those households with both solar panels, electric vehicles and charging points to run their cars with free renewable energy. The average annual earnings of up to £900 generated by a standard-sized domestic solar panel installation can offset the average annual running costs of a zero-emission electric vehicle.

Customers will pay from £995 including VAT for the domestic installation of a charging point by one of British Gas’ nationwide network of qualified installers. Charging points are more convenient and safer than plugging vehicles directly into the home electricity system and will cut the charging time by a third. Research shows that 59% of charging in 2020 will be at home, compared to 32% at work and only 9% will use public charging.

British Gas customers will also benefit from three years of its free Home Electrical Care which gives the customer unlimited call outs for all home electrical repairs, including parts and labour. British Gas has also recently announced an electricity tariff designed specifically for electric car owners. This will make it cheaper to charge vehicles overnight and could save customers as much as £1,200 a year compared to owners of petrol vehicles. British Gas is trialling the tariff with customers this summer and the new tariff will be fully available from the beginning of 2012. All customers on the tariff will have a smart meter installed which will give them access to flexible “time of use” tariffs, put an end to estimated bills and give them access to smart appliances.

British Gas figures show that home owners with a mid-sized solar array (2.52kWp systems) will make around £884 a year from the generation element of the Feed-In Tariff and £64 from the export element

Electric v petrol figures are based on British Gas calculations using average UK standard Economy 7 night rate, 100 mile charge range, and 95% charging efficiency. £1200 based on a comparison with a 1.6-litre vehicle comparing the annual cost of fuel for 10,000 miles. The Kangoo Van Z.E. will cost 1.25p per mile – so £125 for the year compared to 15p a mile for the petrol vehicle (£1463 per year). The calculation assumes 42.2 miles to the gallon and petrol costs of 135.8p a litre. For the standard petrol vehicle, a 50-litre tank gives 464 miles. The Kangoo Van Z.E. can do up to 100 miles per charge (costing £1.25) so needs to do 4.64 charges to replicate the 50 litre tank costing £5.80 (or £6 rounded up). Changes in driving style, use of radio and air conditioning, and terrain will affect driving range.