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LEVC unveils new electric Light Commercial Vehicle

LEVC’s new commercial vehicle, a zero-emission capable light van, draws on more than 70 years of knowledge from the same company that manufactures the world’s only purpose-built range extended electric taxi.

Revealed by London 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 CEO Joerg Hofmann said: “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 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 ($4410) scrappage incentive for pre-euro 6 vans in London, bolstered by up to an £8,000 ($10,080) grant for New Energy vans and Mayoral announcement to rapidly expand the charging network, the foundations are in place for a rapid growth in clean urban commercial vehicles.

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 £500 million ($630 million) 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.

LEVC CEO, Joerg Hofmann, said: “We have combined our existing knowledge of the urban environment with EV technology that can put urban mobility on a sustainable pathway. Durable, reliable, efficient, cost effective and high quality, that is our new LCV. London and the UK will be first to market, then we will extend the vehicle to Europe and further afield. Our goal is to be the leading European electric commercial vehicle provider.”

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “I am delighted that LEVC is applying the lessons learnt from designing and building London’s electric black cabs to this new van. Developing clean, sustainable, electric vehicles is essential in order to tackle our air quality emergency and the climate change crisis. London’s commitment to clean air policies is driving our pursuit of a positive electric future for all.”

Full details of LEVC LCV will be revealed closer to its official launch.

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