It’s not all bad news for the British auto industry as the London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) today started production of its new VN5 electric van at its factory in Ansty, Coventry.
Joining the TX electric taxi on the assembly line, the VN5 marks the expansion of Geely’s LEVC brand beyond the taxi business and into continental Europe as well. The model is designed, engineered and manufactured at LEVC’s plant in Ansty, the UK’s only dedicated electric vehicle factory. It will be sold both in its home market but also in select countries across Europe.
As with the TX, which stands for “taxi”, LEVC’s second product has a simple name, with VN chosen for “van” and 5 representing the volume of the cargo area – 5.5 cubic meters (194.2 cu ft).
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The VN5 looks just like the TX except the rear passenger compartment is replaced by a big cargo area. It can accommodate two Euro sized pallets, one of which can be loaded through the large side sliding door and the other one through the 60/40 split door at the rear, and has a gross payload is up to 830 kg (1,830 lbs). It also shares its lightweight aluminum construction and eCity range-extended electric powertrain with the TX. It’s able to achieve a pure EV range of over 60 miles (98 km) and a combined range of over 300 miles (489 km).
By 2022, LEVC expects its new electric van to make up around 70 per cent of production volume. The company is taking orders in the UK, with the first vehicles to be delivered to customers before the end of the year. A left-hand-drive variant will join production in March 2021 and LEVC says that more than 30 sales and service partners will be in place in continental Europe by year’s end, adding to the 50 existing locations in the UK.
“Today is a historic moment for our iconic company as we launch a second product line and continue our growth strategy to become a leading commercial vehicle manufacturer,” said Joerg Hofmann, CEO of LEVC. “VN5 sets new green mobility standards in the industry and establishes a new and highly desirable electric van segment.”