Taxi-based electric van to hit UK streets from 2019

The London EV Company, the maker of London’s iconic black taxi cabs, expects to begin fleet trials of its new range-extended electric van in the second half of 2019.

The company is currently in discussions with a number of public-sector organisations, including the London Fire Brigade and Metropolitan Police Service, about adding prototypes of its new van to their fleets.

Thought to be based on the TX taxi, the new van has an electric motor driving the wheels, and a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine acting as a range extender.

Final specifications for the van have yet to be released, but the related taxi has an electric-only range of around 110 kilometres, and an overall range of over 645 kilometres. It can be recharged in 20 minutes when hooked up to a rapid charger, around two hours with a fast charger, or between eight to 10 hours with a trickle charge.

The company says its new van will compete with diesel one-tonne vans, and its core market will be fleets with “demanding duty cycles”, such as those with vehicles covering over 160km per day. It believes the range-extended van will offer a “competitive total cost of ownership”.

Formerly known as the London Taxi Company, the Geely-owned firm changed its name to London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) when it launched its latest TX taxi in the middle of 2017.

The new van will reportedly be given its full debut later this year before going on sale late in 2019.