Levc models

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LEVC stands for London Electric Vehicle Company – even though it’s based in Coventry – and is the current supplier of the nation's black cabs. The VN5 is a practical van built on the taxi's platform, and uses the same clever plug-in hybrid powertrain that offers up to 64 miles of electric-only running, with the backup of a petrol-powered range extender for longer journeys.

Everything you need to know about LEVC vans

Besides the replacement for the iconic London taxi, LEVC makes the VN5 van. It uses a lot of the same parts as the black cab, but swaps passenger seats for cargo space. Built in the UK, the LEVC VN5 uses a range-extender electric powertrain and, despite having a small petrol engine, is capable of driving with zero-emissions. Officially, the VN5 is capable of 64 miles of electric driving from a full charge of the battery, and fuel economy of up to 340mpg. Total driving range stands at over 300 miles.

The VN5 has an 830kg payload, with a roof weight of 100kg, and can fit two Euro pallets inside.

LEVC eCity is the official name of the brand’s powertrain. The 31kWh battery feeds power to the electric motor, which turns the wheels. A Volvo-sourced 1.5-litre petrol engine fires up when required, but only to charge the battery. You can also plug the VN5 in to recharge the battery from the mains, like in a plug-in hybrid or electric car.

These are the trim levels for the LEVC van. Business gets a lot of creature comforts, like DAB radio, automatic LED headlights and push-button start. City adds parking sensors, additional storage and extra active safety features, while top-spec Ultima also gets body-coloured bumpers, sat nav and a reversing camera.

Taxi drivers and van drivers are two groups of people who rely on their vehicles to work day in, day out for a number of years, so LEVC needs to make its products reliable to tempt buyers away from more well-known alternatives. There’s a lot of rust-resistant aluminium in the VN5’s construction, so you shouldn’t ever need to worry about it looking like a 10-year-old Mercedes Sprinter. Service intervals are yearly or every 25,000 miles, and LEVC obviously has confidence in its products as the VN5 has a five-year, 150,000-mile warranty.

All LEVC VN5s are made in Coventry, England. LEVC says its factory is the UK’s only dedicated electric vehicle factory. Some of the LEVC TX black cabs are also built in China for the local market.