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– Energy provider to support low-emissions driving event –

British Gas is the official energy and electric vehicle (EV) charging partner for the annual RAC Future Car Challenge, the world’s leading low-energy driving challenge which requires entrants to drive a 60-mile route from Brighton to London using the least amount of energy possible.

British Gas

The event, which is run by the Royal Automobile Club and will take place on Saturday 5 November 2011, is open to electric, hybrid, hydrogen and low-emission internal combustion engine cars and light-commercial vehicles.

In addition to providing charge for vehicles taking part in the challenge, British Gas is entering two electric cars driven by two of the UKs biggest electric car evangelists: Smooth FM’s Mark Goodier and TV presenter and comedian, Robert Llewellyn, best known for playing Kryten in Red Dwarf.

Mark Goodier was the first person in Britain to own a Nissan Leaf and has been running it on solar energy after British Gas installed 12 solar panels on his home in May this year. He has since cut both his petrol costs and his carbon footprint and, thanks to the feed-in tariff, a scheme which pays the owners of solar panels for all the renewable electricity they generate, Mark will receive around £1,200 a year(1).

In April 2011, British Gas announced its first solar-powered electric car partnership with Nissan. British Gas is helping to make electric vehicles more accessible to more people by   making it simple, quick, easy and safe to run electric vehicles and hybrid cars through advice, the installation of charging points and dedicated tariffs.

Dean Keeling, Managing Director of British Gas Smart Homes, said: “The RAC Future Car Challenge is an exciting event for the world of low-emission driving and British Gas is delighted to be powering it, helping to make electric vehicles accessible to all.

“We want to make the process of running an electric car hassle-free by installing smart meters, supplying cheaper electricity through our new tariff and advising consumers on when to charge to reduce their carbon footprint.”

British Gas is the preferred supplier of vehicle charging points for the Nissan Leaf, as well as for the new Zero Emissions range of Renault EVs, and Hitachi Capital’s EV lease offering.  These preferred partnership deals mean British Gas is on track to be the largest supplier of car charging points in Britain’s homes, supporting 70% of the domestic market by 2012(3).

Experts predict that by 2020, electric vehicles could account for approximately ten percent of all cars sold in the UK.  This equates to roughly 1.2 million UK households owning an electric vehicle(4).  With 700,000 homes expected to have solar panels by 2020(5), there is major potential for those households with both solar panels, electric vehicles and charging points to run their cars for free.  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 Nissan Leaf(6).

In 2012, British Gas will launch a new electricity tariff which will allow electric car owners to pay as little as 1.59p per mile to power their car, saving themselves £1,200 a year compared to the cost of petrol(7). Everyone 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.

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