Prototype versions of the LEVC Van have gone into production at the company’s state-of-the-art factory in Coventry. The London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) will be exhibiting the new model at the CV Show in Birmingham in April.
The prototypes will be used for homologation testing for emissions, hot and cold climate testing, durability and crash testing. The van uses the same aluminium architecture as the taxi – which is 30% lighter than conventional steel, stronger and rust resistant.
“Prototype stage is an important milestone in our new electric van’s development process as we stay on track towards full production in Q4”, Joerg Hofmann, CEO of LEVC, commented.
“This new van satisfies the growing demand zero-emissions vehicles in the 1-tonne segment, currently dominated by diesel products, and combines this with extended mileage capability to totally eliminate any range-anxiety. It’s an intelligent green mobility solution for any commercial vehicle operator.”
Despite being based in the UK and having the production facility in Coventry, LEVC is owned by Geely of China – who also own Swedish carmaker Volvo. The LEVC van will be the second ‘range-extender hybrid’ van to enter the market, after the Ford Transit Custom PHEV.
Read the Ford Transit Custom PHEV review.
Recap – what is a ‘range-extender hybrid’?
A ‘range-extender hybrid’ is when there is both an internal combustion engine (either petrol or diesel) and an electric motor but, unlike a ‘series hybrid’, the combustion engine never directly drives the wheels. Instead, the combustion engine acts purely as a way of charging the battery which powers the electric motor.
LEVC Van range
The electric motors have an output of 148bhp and 255Nm and the 31kWh battery from LG Chem provides an all-electric range of 80 miles. To boost the range, there is a 1.5-litre petrol engine from Volvo which, with its 36-litre petrol tank, extends the total range an extra 370 miles to 450 miles. There are three different modes:
- EV Mode – disables the petrol engine and uses only the battery.
- Smart Mode – default configuration. Depletes battery as much as possible before engaging range extender.
- Save Mode – only uses the range-extender. Conserves the battery as much as possible.
Weights and dimensions
LEVC hasn’t given anything away so far relating to payloads or dimensions, but it has stated it will be able to accommodate two Euro Pallets – which means the load length will be somewhere between 1,600mm and 2,400mm. To make it competitive, the payload will need to in or around one tonne.
Price and availability
Prices are expected to start at around £50,000 plus VAT – around £10,000 more than the Transit Custom PHEV, although the battery is much larger on the LEVC. First deliveries are expected in October 2020 and will be backed with a 3-year, 120,000-mile manufacturer warranty.
Also read: Electric van sales to reach 9,000 in 2020