LEVC announces details of new electric van VN5

LEVC London Electric Vehicle Company VN5

LEVC (London Electric Vehicle Company) is set to innovate the commercial vehicle segment with the introduction of VN5, its new electric light commercial van.  Available to order now, the first VN5 deliveries will commence in RHD form in Q4, with LHD models available from March 2021.

VN5 has a flexible zero-emissions capable range of more than 300 miles (484 km)delivered by LEVC’s innovative eCity electric technology. It also utilizes the same reliable, hard-working construction as LEVC’s heavily successful TX taxi.  With up to 5.5m3 capacity, VN5 cargo capacity easily accommodates two Euro sized pallets with a significant payload of 830kg. It has been constructed with a large side-loading door (allowing a pallet to be side-loaded) and a 60/40 split door at the rear to make loading and unloading simple for the driver.

VN5 will enter the market later 2020 in a highly competitive position, providing generous standard equipment, low operating costs, a comprehensive warranty, and strong residual values.  

Designed, engineered, and manufactured at LEVC’s award-winning production plant located in Ansty, Coventry – the UK’s only dedicated electric vehicle factory – VN5 can improve the green footprint of any business. 

LEVC CEO Joerg Hofmann said: “VN5 sets new green mobility standards in the industry and establishes a new and highly desirable electric van segment.  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 favorable operating benefits, VN5 fulfills the growing demand from both businesses and consumers for a cleaner, more sustainable commercial vehicles.”

Iconic design   
VN5 shares its unique styling with the iconic London taxi. Drawing upon the company’s heritage as the leader in the taxi sector for more than a century, VN5 features a front end common with the electric TX taxi, a timeless purpose-built model introduced in 2018. Combined with bold yet clean surfaces, VN5 is a modern van that stands out from the crowd.  

LED headlamps are fitted as standard, converting 80% of the power into light versus a typical 20% for a halogen lamp. These are brighter, longer-lasting, and are four times more effective than conventional halogen lamps.

Inside, VN5 also takes advantage of a driver-oriented cabin shared with TX, having an ergonomic, relaxed, and stress-free workspace tried and tested on the streets of London by many cabbies. The driver’s seat is ergonomically designed and wholly adjustable, while the steering wheel can also be adjusted for reach and rake. The cabin is optimized for professional use, with settings accessed through a large central touchscreen with an intuitive interface, while bright LED lighting clearly illuminates other key controls. Ample storage in the doors, glove box and central console are all designed to enable convenient access when needed.

Tailored for work
Three VN5 variants are available – Business, City and Ultima – with a high level of standard equipment and always with the demands of the consumer in mind.  All VN5 models include Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), front and side driver and passenger airbags, cruise control, nine-inch touchscreen and dual-zone climate control as standard along with 50kW DC rapid charging and minimum 11kW AC fast charging capability. City trim adds a heated windscreen, front and rear parking sensors, curtain airbags, and Lane Departure Warning, while the flagship Ultima features a rear-view camera, luxury seats, metallic paint and 22kW AC charging capability as standard.

Six option packs are available, enabling consumers to tailor to their specific preferences. The Comfort pack features luxury driver & passenger seats, Satellite Navigation, under-seat storage, and a heated windscreen. The Safety pack comes with Road Sign Information system (RSI), Speed Limit Intelligent Function (SLIF), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), and curtain airbags.

Furthermore, LEVC has worked with a number of Europe’s leading converters to make sure that VN5 can be geared up with racking, roof racks, light bars, and other bespoke modifications needed by customers in this sector. In addition, the vehicle will also be available with a series of accessories at launch including seat covers, mats and handheld device holders to enable consumers to personalize and protect their vehicles.

Streetwise and easy to load
VN5 includes a class-leading turning circle of just 10.1m. Like TX, the VN5 has been designed for unrivaled mobility in busy city environments and can operate effortlessly in tight urban spaces.

The VN5 cargo capacity of up to 5.5m3 easily accommodates two Euro sized pallets with a gross payload of up to 830kg. It has been constructed with a large side-loading door (enabling a pallet to be side-loaded) and a 60/40 split door at the rear to make loading and unloading simple for the driver.

Maximizing use, minimizing downtime  
Flexible electric power at the heart of V5. Based on the same frame and proven eCity range-extender technology as LEVC’s TX electric taxi, a pure EV range of 58 miles (93 km) and a total flexible range of over 300 miles (484 km)1 can be attained.

By removing range anxiety, thanks to the VN5’s intuitive eCity technology, this new electric van provides a ‘distribution to door’ service, combines long-distance usability with zero-emissions capability. VN5 excels where businesses have to drive a huge number of “stem miles” from the depot to get to the first delivery address. Based on a real-world delivery scenario from a warehouse near Heathrow Airport to four central London destinations, a wholly charged and fuelled VN5 can complete a full day’s work and make the 47-mile return trip six times, before it needs to recharge/refuel, far exceeding the range of a pure electric van.   

With the ability to go from zero charges to 100 percent in 30 minutes because of its 50kW DC charging capability, a full charge can be finished in the time taken loading/ unloading at the depot or for a short driver break and be back on the road, working hard for its owner. VN5’s long 25,000-mile service intervals mean time spent off the road is further minimized.

Built to last
VN5 has been designed to last two times as long as the competition, thanks to its first in sector strong and lightweight bonded aluminum monocoque & SMC construction. This technology is resistant to corrosion and absorbs two times more than the crash energy of mild steel. In addition, VN5 features SMC panels that are resistant to dents and which shrug off minor impacts and help to keep the automobile on the road.

VN5 comes with a class-leading five year/150,000 mile vehicle warranty and a battery warranty of eight years/150,000 miles. Consumers 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.

Reducing running costs
VN5 continues on its promise to deliver low operating costs with electricity for a full charge costing less than £2 ($2.53) on a low-cost electric vehicle tariff, and fuelling costs that could be as low as £2 ($2.53) ppm versus 11 ppm for diesel equivalents.

With zero emissions in the City, operators of the VN5 will be exempt from the £12.50 ($15.82) daily ULEZ charge in London and will take advantage of similar treatment in other cities with pro-electric legislation.

Lex has confirmed attractive Contract Hire rates for business users beginning at just £493.92 ($625.28) per month + VAT based on a 60-month contract covering 20,000 miles per annum. This further illustrates the VN5’s competitive and class-leading total cost of ownership with tailored Contract Hire quotations available from Lex Autolease.

Furthermore, VN5 is expected to qualify for a number of national incentive schemes for low emissions automobiles, such as the UK OLEV plug-in grant. This means UK operators will get a discount of 20% off the purchase price, up to a maximum of £8,0003.

Safety as Standard
VN5 was designed from the outset to the highest safety standards. Passive and Active systems work together to safeguard the vehicle’s occupants, improve road safety for all road users, and decrease the costs related to high accident rates. VN5’s first in sector bonded aluminum monocoque & SMC construction is immensely strong and absorbs twice the crash energy of mild steel.

The vehicle is geared up with Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) as standard, to protect the vehicle occupants and also pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable road users from accidents at lower speeds. AEB also operates at higher speeds during interurban vehicle operation. Should a crash ever occur, the post-impact braking system will intervene to stop any further collisions on the rebound.

Other safety systems available consist of Emergency Brake Assist and ABS, Front & Side Driver & Passenger airbags, and additional curtain airbags.

Comprehensive sales and service support
VN5 will be sold through LEVC’s increasing international dealer network, with over 50 locations in the UK alone by the end of this year, to make sure that consumers are never further than a 45-minute drive time to an authorized LEVC service point.

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