LEVC trials VN5 electric van with BT Group

BT Group is the latest company to test LEVC’s (London Electric Vehicle Company) new electric van as part of real-world trials. 

Joining other UK businesses such as Royal Mail, DPD and Octopus Energy, BT has taken delivery of two converted TX electric taxis.

Due to the similarities between TX taxi and VN5, LEVC is deploying a fleet of converted TX electric taxis to act as VN5 prototypes, featuring a full interior van conversion ahead of VN5’s official production start next month.

BT plans to use the vehicles in as many roles and locations around the UK as possible. Its Technology division will use the vehicle for field engineers, starting with a Power Exchange Engineer, based in Wrexham, Wales, while its Supply Chain team will initially use a vehicle for logistics support in Northallerton, Yorkshire.

Joerg Hofmann, LEVC CEO, commented: “We are pleased to be joining forces with BT, adding yet another household name to our growing roster of trial partners. Thanks to its eCity powertrain, VN5 totally removes range anxiety, so whether it is being used for remote rural visits or to cover jobs in town, BT’s drivers will know they have the flexibility to work in the most efficient way possible. We are looking forward to developing our business relationship with BT over the coming months.”

LEVC is helping BT to explore the future of its fleet, with the telecoms company addressing how it can make use of electric vehicles. BT has pledged to become a net zero carbon emissions business by 2045 and is especially interested in how it can best use electric vehicles for its operations in rural areas.

Cyril Pourrat, Chief Procurement Officer, BT commented: “With the second largest commercial fleet in the UK, the switch to low and zero emissions vehicles is central to our carbon strategy and will help us to become a net zero emissions business by 2045. To speed up that transition, we’re calling on the UK Government to target 100% electric car and van sales by 2030, extend grants for electric vehicles and to unlock infrastructure investment to support the rollout of public charge-points across the country.”

VN5 is based on the same architecture and proven eCity range-extender technology as LEVC’s TX electric taxi, offering the same electric powertrain with a pure EV range of 61 miles (98 km) and a total flexible range of more than 300 miles (484 km).  VN5 is equipped with a class-leading turning circle of just 10.1m for unrivalled mobility in busy city environments.

VN5 cargo capacity easily accommodates two Euro sized pallets with a gross payload of over 800kg. It has been built 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 easy for the driver.

More than 25 business are taking part in LEVC’s electric van trials, which will see key partners, ranging from tool & equipment hire to energy suppliers and delivery services take delivery of the VN5 prototypes. These companies have been specifically chosen to put the vehicle through a variety of different use cases. 

About LEVC

Since 2014, Geely has invested more than £500m into the London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC), allowing it to build an entirely new manufacturing facility in Ansty, Coventry.  LEVC manufactures the world’s only purpose-built, range extended electric TX taxi and shuttle at its state-of-the-art factory and its new electric van, VN5, starts production in Q4 2020.

Having already established a new central European sales office in Frankfurt to increase LEVC’s presence across Europe, new markets in 2020 such as Middle East, New Zealand and Australia will continue to increase the company’s export footprint. This strategy will see LEVC move from 90 percent domestic sales and 10 percent export to 60 percent export by 2022. www.levc.com

About BT

With over 32,000 vehicles, BT Group has the second largest commercial fleet in the UK

In June 2020, BT teamed up with The Climate Group to launch the UK Electric Fleets Coalition. The coalition of 27 companies calling on the UK Government to target 100% electric car and van sales by 2030; extend grants for electric vehicles and charging points  beyond 2023 and speed up the rollout of public charge-points across the country.

BT Group is the UK’s leading telecommunications and network provider and a leading provider of global communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries.

Its principal activities in the UK include the provision of fixed voice, mobile, broadband and TV (including Sport) and a range of products and services over converged fixed and mobile networks to consumer, business and public sector customers. www.bt.com/about

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