The London EV Company (LEVC) will start trials with potential customers of its new electrified van in London from the second half of 2019. If the name LEVC doesn’t ring any bells, it’s the same company that has reinvented the London taxi by giving it electrified propulsion and modernizing it inside and out.
Previously known as it the London Taxi Company, LEVC is owned by China’s Geely and is serious about getting a foothold in the UK’s commercial vehicle market.
The product LEVC will try to convince UK’s fleet operators is an all-new van that combines a battery-powered electric motor with an economical range-extender petrol engine — just like the TX cab.
Similarities to the TX taxi don’t end there, as the only photo released so far reveals. The van doesn’t look that different to the cab, although the vehicles appear to have different bodyworks.
Combining an electric motor with a range extender ensures the van will be able “to go the distance but also lower running costs.” LEVC is confident that the vehicle will deliver a competitive total cost of ownership for its size.
It’s important to say that LEVC hasn’t designed the van for “last-mile delivery,” focusing instead on fleets where vehicles travel over 100 miles (161 km). That’s an ambitious target, given that this segment is currently dominated by 1-tonne medium-sized diesel vans. As a reminder, the TX taxi has a total driving range of 400 miles (643 km), including 70 miles (112 km) with zero emissions. LEVC is yet to release specs for the van.
The company says it’s currently in discussion with several major public-sector fleets about joining the trials of prototype vehicles. Targeted fleets include the Metropolitan Police Service and the London Fire Brigade. Both organizations have programs to clean up their vehicle fleets and target the acquisition of zero-emission vans only from 2025.
LEVC says its van will pack “class-leading safety systems as standard,” including some of the latest semi-autonomous systems. It’s also designed to meet “the world’s highest crash safety standards,” and pass LEVC’s million-mile TaxiDur durability test.