Meet the new electric van version of the London Taxi

The clean and green urban delivery van of tomorrow is here according to LEVC’s at the launch of their new commercial vehicle, a zero-emission capable light van. It points to it drawing on more than 70 years of knowledge from the same company that manufactures the world’s only purpose-built range extended electric taxi.

Revealed today by London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan and LEVC CEO Joerg Hofmann at the Institution of Engineering and Technology – where the city committed to introducing five new flagship charging hubs, new rapid charging infrastructure and a dedicated ‘one-stop-shop’ to handle infrastructure enquiries – LEVC’s new LCV has been designed to meet rapidly increasing global demand for green, electrified commercial transport; medium-sized vans capable of moving goods around urban areas efficiently, while helping to improve air quality.

Based on the same architecture and proven e-City range extender technology as LEVC’s TX taxi, of which there are now just under 2,000 on the roads – the vast majority in London – this second vehicle from LEVC will give operators and drivers huge amounts of flexibility with an electric range of 80 miles and a combined petrol and EV range of 377 miles.

Targeting those who travel around 100 miles a day, LEVC’s LCV will offer ‘distribution to door’ – not just last mile – providing the link between out of town depots and city centres, capable of collecting goods outside of a major city in range extender mode, before switching to EV mode in an Ultra-Low Emissions Zone. This is currently a sector of the market dominated by one tonne medium size diesel vans.

LEVC’s success with the TX taxi has proven that taxi drivers have become converts of green logistics, with huge benefits in terms of cost savings, while for commercial vehicle operators the e-City range extender technology takes away range anxiety once and for all.

LEVC CEO Joerg Hofmann said: “Future urban transport is already changing rapidly and we have a golden opportunity to bring something new and disruptive to this market. The light commercial vehicle sector is the only growing vehicle traffic segment in London. This is due to the rapid rise in internet shopping – the Amazonisation of retail. Every day there are 65,000 unique LCV journeys into London, but mobility must not come at the expense of air quality. London’s ULEZ is a blueprint and all major UK cities will introduce a Clean Air Zone by 2020. There is huge demand for a medium-sized zero emissions capable light van and the solution we offer will be more than capable of meeting the requirements of a rapidly evolving green logistics market.”

With cities bringing increasing pressure on manufacturers to offer clean vehicles, there is a huge opportunity for LEVC. The London Metropolitan Police & Fire Service have already committed to being fleet zero emissions capable by 2025, while it is expected that by 2030, 40 per cent of vans will be ‘new energy’ (i.e. electrified) and by 2040, all vans.

The annual market for medium-sized ‘distribution to door’ vans is around 50,000 vehicles and with a £3,500 scrappage incentive for pre-euro 6 vans in London, bolstered by up to an £8,000 grant for New Energy vans and today’s Mayoral announcement to rapidly expand the charging network, the foundations are in place for a rapid growth in clean urban commercial vehicles.

Full details of LEVC LCV will be revealed closer to its official launch, but LEVC can reveal today that its new LCV will target best-in-class total cost of ownership, thanks to savings in fuel and servicing over conventional IC vans. It will also have durability guaranteed: LEVC has tested the new van to the world’s highest durability standards, adapting its million-mile TaxiDur test for the light commercial vehicle.

As standard, it will have class-leading safety, featuring the latest active safety systems from some of the world’s leading technology providers, along with the world’s highest crash safety standards. It will be better for drivers too, benchmarked against premium MPVs on comfort and ergonomics with a cabin designed around the needs of the van driver (and passenger). In addition to this, the LCV will feature the iconic class leading turning circle synonymous with the black cab.

LEVC manufactures the world’s only purpose-built, range extended electric taxi. Since 2014, its parent company GEELY has invested £500m in a production facility in Ansty, Coventry, where the new LCV will be made alongside the TX. In the near future, LEVC will add to its commercial vehicle range with a new line-up of models that will use shared technology with GEELY Commercial Vehicles.