The London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC), previously known as the London Taxi Company, is launching a new urban delivery hybrid van based on the same technology as their new electric Taxi.
The new LEVC LCV (Light Commercial Vehicle) offers an all-electric range of 80 miles, and a total range of 377 miles thanks to its range extender. This combination will appeal to drivers who cover around 100 miles a day, as it enables “distribution to door” and not only “last mile” deliveries.
The new compact van can be seen as a compromise between fully electric vehicles such as the Nissan e-NV200 or the Renault Kangoo ZE and traditional diesel options like the Mercedes Sprinter or Ford Transit.
“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.”
Benefits of a hybrid commercial vehicle
While there is clear merit to “Plug-In only” vehicles, their range can still appear to be restrictive, particularly for commercial drivers. This, together with limited charging infrastructure, doesn’t always make them a practical and viable option for commercial drivers. A “last mile” delivery driver will probably be ok with a daily range of 80 miles, however those covering wider areas – typically picking up at suburban depots – may struggle.
Hybrids offer them the best of both worlds, enabling longer journeys while being eco-friendly and not liable to the various congestion and pollution charges applicable in most major cities.
The LCV shares the same range extender as the LEVC TX taxi, with a small 1.5 litre petrol engine. This engine is used to charge up the batteries that power the electric motor.
Running costs of the LEVC LCV
While the purchase price won’t be confirmed until nearer the launch in 2020, Joerg Hofmann, LEVC’s CEO, has confirmed that it will cost less than the LEVC TX taxi (which starts at £55,599). Taking into consideration the current scrappage schemes for pre-Euro 6 vehicles, and grants for New Energy vans, we can expect a purchase price in the region of £45k – and undoubtedly numerous options to finance, lease and rent.
How does the LCV compare to the rest of the market?
With LEVC being part of the Geely group, it is no surprise that some components will be shared with Volvo counterparts, ensuring a safe and comfortable ride. What’s more, it’ll benefit from the same small turning circle as that of the TX, making it very easy to manoeuvre, particularly in narrow city streets.
LEVC hasn’t confirmed dimensions yet but said that two Euro pallets will fit in the back.
This new entrant on a currently limited market segment is certainly one to look for. More details on specifications and costs will be communicated by LEVC closer to the launch date (expected in the second half of 2020), but they have already positioned the LCV as “durable, reliable, efficient, cost effective and high quality”. Watch this space!