Van is spun off from TX range extender London taxi

Van is spun off from TX range extender London taxi

Geely-owned London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) - the latest name for Britain's main 'London Taxi' maker - has spun off a light van based on its latest TX electrified taxi.

Using the company's e-City range extender technology, it is claimed to remove range anxiety completely with over 80 miles of electric range and a full range of 377 miles.

"The new LCV gives operators the flexibility and freedom to enter low emission zones and travel to out of town distribution centres," LEVC said.

It also claims best-in-class ownership costs and a load area that can fit two Euro pallets.

But order books don't open until "towards the end of 2020" though we are promised "a full range of 'new energy' CVs, supporting LEVC's vision to be the leading European electric commercial vehicle provider".

The new vehicle was launched in London by LEVC CEO Joerg Hofmann at an event 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 said there are now around 2,000 TX taxis on UK roads with the vast majority in London.

This van variant is targeting those who travel around 100 miles a day to 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 London's new Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (and those planned for other UK cities).

This is currently a sector of the market dominated by one tonne medium size diesel vans.

LEVC claims its TX taxi sales success has proven that taxi drivers have become converts of green logistics, with huge benefits in terms of cost savings, while for commercial vehicle operators the e-City range extender technology takes away range anxiety once and for all.

Hofmann said: "Future urban transport is already changing rapidly and we have a golden opportunity to bring something new and disruptive to this market. 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% of vans will be new energy and, by 2040, all.

The annual market for medium-sized distribution to door vans is around 50,000 vehicles and with a GBP3,500 scrappage incentive for pre-Euro 6 vans in London, bolstered by up to an GBP8,000 grant for new energy vans and today's announcement to rapidly expand the charging network, the foundations are in place for a rapid growth in clean urban commercial vehicles.

LEVC claims to have tested the new van to the world's highest durability standards, adapting its million-mile TaxiDur test for the light commercial vehicle.

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 also have the iconic class leading turning circle synonymous with the black cab.

Since 2014, Geely - also owner of Volvo Cars - has spent GBP500m on its production facility in Ansty, Coventry, where the new LCV will be made alongside the TX.

Future LEVC commercial vehicles will use technology shared with Geely commercial vehicles.