The London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC), previously known as LTC, has announced that trials of its upcoming range-extender van are scheduled to start next year.
Public sector fleets will first be targeted: the Geely-owned manufacturer is already in talks with the Metropolitan Police and London Fire Brigade about running the prototype vans.
Rivals will be diesel-powered vans like the Ford Transit Connect, with a near-equivalent total cost of ownership offsetting what is expected to be a higher purchase price.
LEVC revealed the first image of its plug-in hybrid van that's a sibling to the new TX black cab earlier this year, and the two appear to share styling cues at the front, although the van's profile and rear are distinct from its passenger-carrying sibling.
LEVC said it believes the van market “is ready for a disruptive new entrant, which will offer a very different value proposition”.
The company added that the vehicle will not focus on “last-mile delivery” but, instead, will provide the link between out-of-town distribution centres and city destinations. “Our segment is vans that undertake 100 miles a day — a role currently filled by one-tonne, medium-sized diesel vans,” LEVC said.
The light commercial vehicle will be built at LEVC’s £325 million factory in Warwickshire, alongside the range-extended EV black cab. The purpose-built facility was opened last year as the UK’s first dedicated site for EV production. LEVC expects that there will be 10,000 vehicles built at the plant by 2020, split equally between the taxi and van. That is set to expand to 20,000 vehicles by 2022.