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EV trials expand as BT Group tests latest tech

BT Group is the latest fleet operator to begin trials of new commercial electric vehicle technology.

The company is to test the LEVC (London Electric Vehicle Company) VN5 van ahead of its official production kick-off in November.

BT Group will begin operation of two VN5 prototypes, in this instance converted from TX taxis, and will test the vehicles in a range of roles and locations across the UK. One of the vehicles will first join the company’s technology division with a field engineer in Wrexham, Wales, while its supply chain team will operate the second VN5 for logistics support in Northallerton, North Yorkshire.

Cyril Pourrat, chief procurement officer at BT Group, said: “With the second largest commercial fleet in the UK, the switch to low and zero emissions vehicles is central to our carbon strategy and will help us to become a net zero emissions business by 2045.”

VN5 utilises the TX taxi’s range-extender technology, providing a pure EV range of 61 miles and a total range of more than 300 miles. It has a payload of 800kg and flexible loading options via side and rear doors.

Joerg Hofmann, LEVC CEO, added: “Thanks to its eCity powertrain, VN5 totally removes range anxiety, so whether it is being used for remote rural visits or to cover jobs in town, BT Group’s drivers will know they have the flexibility to work in the most efficient way possible.”