London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) has launched a new plug-in hybrid light commercial van that shares its distinctive styling with the iconic London black cab. LEVC’s VN5 van features a front end that’s similar to the company’s electric TX taxi, launched in 2018. The driver cabin, which is also shared with the TX, features an ergonomic workspace that’s been designed based on input from thousands of London cabbies.
The VN5 has been designed to operate in tight urban spaces—it has a turning circle of just 10.1 meters, a large side-loading door and a 60/40 split door at the rear. Electric range is “over 58 miles,” cargo capacity is 5.5 cubic meters, and gross payload is 830 kg.
Three VN5 variants are available—Business, City and Ultima. All VN5 models feature 50 kW DC rapid charging and 11 kW AC charging capability. City trim adds a heated windscreen, front and rear parking sensors, curtain airbags and Lane Departure Warning, while the flagship Ultima features a rear-view camera, luxury seats and 22 kW AC charging capability.
Six option packages are available. LEVC has also worked with a number of European convertors to ensure the VN5 can be equipped with roof racks, light bars and other bespoke modifications.
“We’ve applied our extensive knowledge from the taxi world to create a high quality, hard-working van with zero emissions and long-distance capability,” said LEVC CEO Joerg Hofmann. “As well as offering favourable operating benefits, VN5 fulfils the growing demand from both businesses and consumers for cleaner, more sustainable commercial vehicles.”
VN5 will be sold through LEVC’s dealer network, which will have 50 locations in the UK by the end of this year. In the UK, Contract Hire arrangements for business users will be offered through Lex Autolease. VN5 is expected to qualify for national incentive schemes such as the UK OLEV plug-in grant, which offers a discount of 20% off the purchase price, up to a maximum of £8,000.
The VN5 is now available for pre-order. Deliveries of right-hand-drive versions are expected to begin in Q4, and LHD models are to be available from March 2021.