LEVC plans major European expansion with electric van
Electric light commercial vehicle manufacturer LEVC (London Electric Vehicle Company) is pursuing ambitious European expansion plans as its new zero emission VN5 van comes online.
The company already has dealers and service centres in Austria, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland and the UK, and plans to grow its network across Greece, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland this year. By the end of 2021 LEVC expects to have more than 50 dealers in key European locations, and it forecasts that the combined sales volume in continental Europe will be higher than its home UK market in 2022.
2021: Year of European expansion
Joerg Hofmann, LEVC CEO, said: “The core focus of our export business strategy is to grow our presence across Europe this year. There is a growing demand for green transport solutions and we are keen to introduce the LEVC brand and our electric commercial vehicles to new customers and new markets.”
Earlier this year the manufacturer appointed Martin Rada, the former managing director for Fiat Chrysler in Germany, as its new managing director for LEVC Europe Operations, based in Frankfurt. LEVC has also set up a new parts distribution hub in Eisenach, Germany, to support parts availability across its service network and minimise vehicle downtime.
Zero emission range
The plug-in VN5 van adopts a similar body shape and technology to LEVC’s TX and Shuttle, based on the iconic London Black Cab taxi design. The e-LCV’s 31kWh battery has a range of about 100km (60 miles), and is capable of a full recharge in just 30 minutes from a 50kW DC fast charger. The van features two charge points, one either side of the front grille, for ease of connecting cables in charging locations.
The VN5 also features a petrol-powered range extender that increases the vehicle’s range without stopping to over 450km (300 miles). Geofencing technology means the eLCV could, for example, automatically switch to electric-only mode when it enters a low-emission zone.
Payload and volume
As a commercial vehicle, it has a 5.5m3 cargo capacity, can swallow two Euro-sized pallets, and boasts a gross payload of up to 830kg. LEVC has also appointed Bott (pictured below), Modul-System, Paneltex and Sortimo as conversion partners, and commercial fleets from the logistics, telecom and construction industries, including BT Group and Kier, are trialling the van, while city authorities and taxi firms have bought more than 5,000 TX and Shuttle vehicles.
Germany is proving to be a particularly strong growth market for LEVC, with 10 dealer partners and rising demand for its electric TX, which qualifies for a Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) €5,625 subsidy as a zero emission vehicle.
Frank Uwe Werner, managing director of LUEG Volvo Centrum Rhein Ruhr GmbH, which has two LEVC showrooms, said: “We know that our region of Germany is the perfect target market for both of LEVC’s vehicles, with our customers highly interested in electric powertrain technology and the benefits associated with alternatives to petrol and diesel. The TX and VN5 will slot into our product portfolio seamlessly.”
In the UK, where LEVC has 18 sales locations and more than 32 additional service centres, the manufacturer’sstrategy is to ensure that its customers are never more than 45 minutes away from a sales and service centre.