The London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) has delayed plans to launch a new range-extender van this year, according to the firm's boss.
The company has planned to start testing the new machine, which it will offer alongside its TX taxi, ahead of sales starting later this year. It was initially targeting public sector fleets, with the Geely-owned manufacturer already in talks with the Metropolitan Police and London Fire Brigade about running the prototype vans.
But LEVC chief executive Chris Gubbey told Reuters the 2019 launch had now been delayed until "the early 2020s", so that the firm can draw more on the resources of its parent company. He added: “On our own, we’re a relatively small player and for us to charge ahead and develop our own product and then try to maintain that and put further investment in to build off that, does not make sense."
LEVC revealed the first image of its plug-in hybrid van that's a sibling to the new TX black cab earlier this year, and the two appear to share styling cues at the front, although the van's profile and rear are distinct from its passenger-carrying sibling.
LEVC said it believes the van market “is ready for a disruptive new entrant, which will offer a very different value proposition”.
Rivals will be diesel-powered vans such as the Ford Transit Connect, with a near-equivalent total cost of ownership offsetting what is expected to be a higher purchase price.
The company added that the vehicle will not focus on “last-mile delivery” but, instead, will provide the link between out-of-town distribution centres and city destinations. “Our segment is vans that undertake 100 miles a day — a role currently filled by one-tonne, medium-sized diesel vans,” LEVC said.