DPD will trial 25 of LEVC’s new VN5 electric van ahead of its launch in Q4.
Due to the similarities between TX and VN5, LEVC is deploying a fleet of converted TX-based prototypes utilising a full interior van conversion.
Joerg Hofmann, LEVC chief executive, said: “We are delighted that DPD is the first company to begin testing of our VN5 taxi-van prototypes. These real-world tests mark a milestone occasion in the history of LEVC, as the company continues its transformation from an iconic British taxi brand to a leading electric vehicle manufacturer.
“VN5 is set to revolutionise green logistics and we are looking forward to working with DPD as it puts the vehicle through its paces. Feedback from major business operators will be crucial to the further development of the van as we rapidly move to its launch in Q4 this year.”
The VN5’s cargo capacity easily accommodates two Euro sized pallets with a gross payload of more than 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.
Based on the same architecture as LEVC’s TX electric taxi, the VN5 offers the same electric powertrain with a pure EV range of 63 miles and with a total flexible range of 301 miles.
It is also equipped with the TX’s class-leading turning circle of just 10.1m.
The eCity technology meets the demanding duty cycles of various different sectors, and, for logistics businesses such as DPD, VN5 has been designed to provide ‘distribution to door’ – not just last mile – capability, creating a link between out of town depots and city centres.
Dwain McDonald, DPD chief executive, added: “It is great to work with LEVC. It is such an iconic British brand and another great Midlands-based business. We are keen to see how the technology works for us. It is a very flexible solution and it could well help solve a few challenges. It is very smart, and we like that. For example, we could use geo-fencing so that it switches automatically to electric-only on entering urban areas, including low emissions zones. We will certainly give it a good test and we’ll see how it works out.”
LEVC’s trial phase will take place over the next few months and will see more than 25 partners take delivery of the test vehicles, ranging from Tool & Equipment hire to Energy suppliers and postal services. These companies have been specifically chosen to put the vehicle through a variety of different use cases.