Stockley Park, U.K. --- (METERING.COM) --- January 17, 2013 - Companies could make significant savings by switching their vehicle fleets to electric vehicles, a recent study by British Gas and the U.K.’s Transport Research Laboratory found.

By replacing just 10percent of their current vehicles with electric models, companies could cut the running costs of their fleets by an average £350,000 and reduce CO2 emissions by more than 5percent (830 tonnes) each year.

Converting 50percent of a fleet to electric vehicles would result in an average annual cost saving of £1.75 million and reduce CO2 emissions in Britain by around 26percent (2,320,000 tonnes).

Further, the greatest savings would be made in the financial services and emergency and health services sectors. Other top saving sectors include the service industries (including IT, leisure and media), heavy industries, and architecture and construction.

“This report shows that businesses, under pressure to reduce both costs and carbon emissions, cannot afford to ignore the benefits of electric vehicles,” said Colin Marriott, fleet general manager at British Gas.

Large company fleets in Britain vary in size between 420 and 33,000 vehicles. The report was based on data from 201 fleets, totalling around 263,000 cars and 221,000 vans.

Savings accrue principally through cheaper running costs, electricity being cheaper on a per-mile basis than petrol, and cheaper servicing costs, with pure electric vehicles (not plug-in hybrids) having fewer moving parts and needing less frequent servicing. Other savings result from reduced taxes and other incentives.

The report also found that the most suitable conditions for pure EVs include low urban mileage, minimal or reducing load profile, and a frequent return to base or other charging facilities for a relatively long stop.

Putting its money where its mouth is, British Gas British Gas plans to convert 10percent of its 14,000 light commercial vehicle fleet to electric vehicles over the next three years, with a trial currently under way of Nissan’s eNV200 electric van.