After the success with the TX Taxi, LEVC has revealed more details about its move into the electric light commercial van market. We first revealed the existence of the van earlier this year and this latest announcement puts more flesh on the bones. As we surmised, the van is modelled on the same architecture and technology as LEVC’s TX electric taxi and is aimed at the “last mile” and deliveries. Given the relative success of the TX taxi, you can understand where they are coming from and it makes perfect sense to be using it.
Dubbed the VN5, it’s going to have a pure EV range of 58 miles (93 km) and a total flexible range of over 300 miles (484 km) can be achieved. The press release claims that based on a real-world delivery scenario a fully charged and fuelled VN5 van can go from a warehouse near Heathrow Airport to four central London destinations, completing a full day’s work on the 47-mile return trip 6 times, before needing to recharge/refuel.
On the issue of charging, it comes with the following: 50kW DC rapid charging and minimum 11kW AC fast charging capability. In terms of other specs that matter in this sector, the van has a turning circle of 10.1m, which is fairly compact, and has cargo capacity of up to 5.5m cubed, meaning it can take two Euro-sized pallets with a gross payload up to 830kg.
“VN5 sets new green mobility standards in the industry and establishes a new and highly desirable electric van segment,“ said LEVC CEO Joerg Hofmann. “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. As well as offering favourable operating benefits, VN5 fulfils the growing demand from both businesses and consumers for cleaner, more sustainable commercial vehicles.”
Away from the battery and charging, the van comes with:
- LED headlamps fitted as standard
- large central touchscreen
- autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
- front and side driver and passenger airbags
- cruise control
- nine-inch touchscreen
- dual zone climate control
- large side-loading door (enabling a pallet to be side-loaded) and a 60/40 split door at the rear
Then the range starts to differentiate a little. The Business model, coming in at £46,500, has all of the items above while the City trim adds a heated windscreen, front and rear parking sensors, curtain airbags and Lane Departure Warning.
The flagship Ultima features a rear-view camera, luxury seats, metallic paint and 22kW AC charging capability. And if that’s not enough choice for potential customers, there are option packs featuring luxury driver and passenger seats, satellite navigation, under-seat storage and a heated windscreen, a Road Sign Information system (RSI), Speed Limit Intelligent Function (SLIF), the aforementioned Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and curtain airbags.
And just to ensure even more modifications – if desired – LEVC says the VN5 can be equipped with racking, roof racks, light bars and other bespoke modifications. To be blunt, a lot of this is now standard for vehicles in this class and we suspect LEVC is aware of this, which is why they are also strongly pushing the frame and build of the vehicle.
The company claims the VN5 has a strong and lightweight bonded aluminium monocoque and SMC construction which is resistant to corrosion and absorbs twice the crash energy of mild steel. In addition, VN5 features SMC panels, which are resistant to dents and which shrug off minor impacts and help to keep the vehicle on the road.
To back up the claims, VN5 comes with a class-leading five year/150,000 mile vehicle warranty and a battery warranty of eight years/150,000 miles. Customers can also opt for an extended warranty of six years/200,000 miles for the vehicle and eight years/200,000 miles for the battery.
Right-hand drive models will be available from October/November this year while the left-hand side option will arrive in March next year.