LEVC aims to dominate Europe’s electric-van market

The van will use the same drivetrain as LEVC's taxi, giving it up to 80 miles (129 km) of electric-only range

Geely-owned LEVC says it wants to be Europe’s leading supplier of electrified commercial vehicles after deciding to press ahead with its plug-in hybrid midsize van, which has been hit by delays. The company, better known for its plug-in hybrid London taxi, will begin deliveries of the van in 2021 to its target market of urban delivery companies.

“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,” LEVC CEO Joerg Hofmann said in a statement.

LEVC says it has now delivered almost 2,000 of its TX taxi, mainly to drivers in London. The TX uses Volvo-sourced technology such as a 1.5-liter three-cylinder plug-in hybrid drivetrain within a bonded aluminum body. The van would be built in the same UK factory in Coventry.

The van will use the same drivetrain as the taxi, giving it up to 80 miles (129 km) of electric-only range, the company said.

The van be followed by the rollout of a “full range” of electrified commercial vehicles, LEVC said, without being specific.

Competition for the LEVC van includes Ford’s midsize Transit Custom plug-in hybrid van, which arrives later this year. Ford will also sell a fully electric van in 2021 to join Street Scooter, a company set up by the Deutsche Post DHL Group, which has a partnership with Ford.

The addition of the gasoline engine for the LEVC van will make it more attractive to van operators who need the extra range to load at out-of-town depots before returning to the city center. Once they reach a zone restricted to ultra-low emission vehicles (usually those rated at emitting less than 75 grams per kilometer of carbon dioxide) the van will activate an EV mode that cuts out the gasoline engine.

The London borough of Hackney was the first district within London to restrict access to certain streets to plug-in vehicles only. Madrid also operates an ultra-low emission zone within its center.

The van’s launch will be followed by the rollout of a “full range” of electrified commercial vehicles, LEVC says, without providing details.

LEVC had originally planned to begin sales of the van later this year but announced in January that it would delay the launch. “Like the rest of the industry, we are facing a number of macro challenges, stiffer competition and developing technology,” said the former LEVC CEO, Chris Gubbey.

The van will carry the same high build costs incurred by taxi from the hybrid drivetrain, other Volvo technology and the bonded aluminum bodyshell. The price hasn’t been disclosed but it is expected to be close to the 55,599-pound (62,000 euros, $71,000) figure for the taxi. LEVC said that reduced fuel bills and servicing would mean it would have the lowest running costs in its class.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here