The new van, using the same range-extender electric vehicle technology as its TX London taxi, is available to order now for deliveries at the end of 2020 from the company's factory in Ansty, Warwickshire. Priced from £46,500, it will be eligible for the van-specific UK plug-in car grant of up to £8000.
The VN5 can manage a WLTP-certified electric-only range of up to 58 miles from a 31kWh battery and has a load area that can accommodate two Euro pallets. Claimed carrying capacity is 830kg. The taxi’s bodywork has been adapted to allow a single side-loading door and 60/40 split rear doors for loading.
Combined with the three-cylinder petrol range-extender engine, the VN5's total range will be over 300 miles.
Three variants will be offered, with base Business trim coming as standard with autonomous emergency braking, cruise control, a 9.0in touchscreen and 50kW DC rapid charging that will can allow a full charge in 30 minutes.
Moving up to City spec adds a heated steering wheel, front and rear parking sensors, curtain airbags and lane departure warning, while Ultima brings posher seats, a rear-view camera and 22kW AC fast charging. A number of options packs provide a host of active safety kit, plus features such as sat-nav and additional storage.
LEVC claims the VN5’s aluminium monocoque and SMC construction make it built to last “twice as long” as competitors, thanks to corrosion and dent resistance and high crash-energy absorption. A five-year, 150,000-mile warranty is standard, with a battery warranty of eight years, and there is the option to extend both warranties further. Service intervals are a relatively long 25,000 miles, too.
LEVC says the market for such a van is likely to increase noticeably. London’s Metropolitan Police & Fire Service has already committed its fleet to being zero-emissions-capable by 2025. LEVC also says it expects 40% of vans will be ‘new energy’ by 2030, rising to 100% by 2040.
It adds that the VN5 van is intended for companies that cover around 100 miles per day in cities and is designed to allow goods to be picked up at an out-of-town depot and transported into the city, where the van will operate largely in zero-emissions mode.