With motor shows in 2020 having fallen victim to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2021 CV Show in Birmingham has provided British manufacturer the London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) with an opportunity to show off its new VN5 medium van.
Production of the VN5, which combines an electric motor with a range-extender petrol engine, began in November 2020 in Ansty, Coventry. The firm expects production of the VN5 van to increase rapidly and by next year to account for 70% of volume at the plant, claimed by LEVC to be the only dedicated electric vehicle factory in the UK.
CV Show visitors whose business takes them regularly to London will notice a familiar look about the front end of the VN5, which is clearly related to LEVC’s successful TX taxi, also built at Ansty.
The VN5 shares another family characteristic with the TX, highlighted at the CV Show – a tight turning circle of just 10.1 metres. LEVC claims this as industry-leading and expects it to add to the appeal of the van for companies working in congested urban environments.
The same range-extender drivetrain used by the TX is employed in the VN5, giving the van a range quoted at 60 miles pure electric and 304 miles with the petrol range-extender engine. The electric battery can be fully replenished in 30 minutes using the van’s 50kW charging capability, equivalent to a typical loading/unloading time at a depot or during a driver break.
Up to 5.5 cubic metres can be accommodated in the VN5 cargo bay, equivalent to two Euro-sized pallets, while the gross payload rating is 830kg.
The van is supplied as standard with a side door large enough to load a Euro pallet, plus 60/40 rear-loading doors.
LEVC has been making London’s iconic ‘black cabs’ in Coventry for more than 100 years – following a takeover by Chinese automotive giant Geely in 2014, some £500 million was invested in LEVC which reinvented itself as an EV manufacturer in 2018.