LONDON, Dec. 2, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Centrica and leading Volkswagen dealer group Citygate have agreed an Electric Vehicle technology partnership that will accelerate what the car retailer offers to customers both in store and at home.
Under the planned partnership, Centrica will install the latest charging technology at 10 Citygate dealerships across London and the south-east. In addition, Centrica will help fulfil aftersales support on EV accessories and charging products, including home charging installations.
Citygate and Centrica will also collaborate on the development of an EV Centre of Excellence as part of the agreement. Centrica will install an on-site virtual power plant (VPP) by linking EV chargers and other large energy-consuming assets into a cloud platform, so they can be turned down or turned off when demand for electricity is particularly high, reducing the need for baseload power stations and helping to decarbonise the grid. The impact of these measures will be visible to Citygate customers and staff through educational showroom displays.
Customer information will be available on topics such as charging, energy tariffs, climate change and air quality, which will form part of the Centre. Centrica will also develop training programmes for Citygate staff and educational materials for customers to provide knowledge and insight into the decarbonisation of transport and the home.
Carl Bayliss, Vice President of Mobility Solutions at Centrica said: "We are moving to a future in which our cars will become an extension of the fabric of our homes and businesses. Most cars are stationary 95% of the time, so it makes sense to use the collective storage capacity as a mini power plant, to power our lives and support the grid.
"Citygate is leading the way to realising that future for their customers and I believe we are uniquely positioned to help both business and domestic customers to transition to an increasingly electrified, net zero world."
Jonathan Smith, CEO of Citygate, said: "EVs are moving from niche to mainstream, so it is vital that we are able to support our customers both in store and post-sale. The measures we are putting in place will put our sales, marketing and servicing staff at the forefront of EV enablement. Centrica's scale and level of experience in this space made them an obvious partner."
Centrica provides end to end support in charging solutions including charger infrastructure, energy management, financing, and optimisation. The company has expanded its digital service, Local Heroes, to offer homeowners electric vehicle (EV) charging installations while Centrica Business Solutions has launched a package of solutions for large businesses that includes new solar and battery storage facilities to help meet increased onsite power demand.
- Centrica plc is a leading international Energy Services and Solutions provider. Our purpose is to provide energy and services to satisfy the changing needs of our customers, enabling the transition to a lower carbon future. We've been serving customers for over 200 years and aim to be at the centre of their daily lives - central to helping them run their world in ever more sustainable ways.
- We believe that the electrification of transport will be fundamental to global decarbonisation efforts and are committed to working with customers and partners to drive progress in this space.
- Centrica is a member of EV100, a global initiative by the Climate Group that brings together companies committed to accelerating the transition to electric vehicles.
- As the owner of the third largest commercial fleet in the UK, Centrica has committed to electrify its 12,500-strong fleet of vehicles by 2030, having already racked up over one million electric miles over the last five years.
- In the UK it is forecast that 85,000 electric vehicles will be sold in 2019 and by 2030 there will be over 5m electric vehicles on the road. The National Grid Future Energy Scenarios predict up to 35m EVs by 2050. In Ireland, the Government's recent Climate Action Plan is forecasting 950,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2030.
- This year, Centrica has published its Responsible Business Ambitions, focussing on four key areas: customers; climate change; colleagues; and the communities in which Centrica operates.
- As part of this, we aim to help customers reduce their emissions by 25%, directly contributing 3% via our products and services, which is equivalent to the annual emissions of 2.5 million UK homes.
- We also aim to reduce our own internal emissions by 35% in the ten years to 2025 and, by 2030, demonstrate that we are on track with Paris, and develop a path to net zero by 2050.
- Citygate is a retailer and authorised repairer of new and used Volkswagen passenger cars, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, ŠKODA, SEAT and Kia cars in London, Greater London, Middlesex, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire; with dealerships in Chalfont, High Wycombe, Watford, Colindale, Ruislip, Bushey, Wooburn Green, Slough and Reading.
- Citygate is a progressive player in the automotive space, committed to excellence in everything we do and living up to our values that place our focus firmly on people and innovation.
- We recognise the current and future changes facing the automotive and retail landscape and have identified the need to provide both our customers and employees with the knowledge and tools required to navigate these changes together.
- Our own dedicated training facility, the Citygate Academy has recently achieved IMI Approved Centre Status which will bolster even further our continued focus on L&D. This, alongside our strategic partnerships provides the valuable content, support and development necessary to support the business, its people and our customers today and in the future.