LEVC is pushing ahead with production of its VN5 range-extender electric van after successfully finishing final testing.
The new van – on sale now – uses the e-City range-extender technology already been seen in LEVC’s TX taxi, bringing an electric-only range of 61 miles and a total range in excess of 300 miles with emissions of 21g/km CO2 on the combined WLTP cycle.
The build-up to its arrival at the end of the year has now taken a further step after prototypes successfully underwent hot and cold climate testing, durability, crash and dynamic testing.
The prototypes, built on the same production line as the TX at LEVC’s factory in Ansty, Coventry, have spent the last 32 months undergoing a strict development and homologation programme.
In total, the vehicles have completed equivalent of 850,000km of testing, designed to ensure the VN5 will more than live up to the task of daily use.
The raft of tests include ‘extreme event and abuse’, which places huge demands on the powertrain, suspension and brakes, with rapid deceleration over potholes, multiple kerb strikes as well as wading through waist deep water. This phase has also made sure that VN5’s manoeuvrability, said to be class-leading and with a city-friendly turning circle of 10.1m, stands up to the test.
Engineers have also carried out ‘general durability’ testing, designed to replicate a lifetime of usage, as well as climatic chamber testing, simulating the effect hostile temperatures and weather can have on vehicle functions and materials. Dynamic ride and handling testing using various loads has also taken VN5’s braking, acceleration and cornering ability to the limit and beyond.
Joerg Hofmann, LEVC CEO, commented: “Completing the final testing stage is another important milestone in VN5’s development before production starts in Q4. We’ve designed and engineered an electric van that can offer zero emissions capability alongside zero range anxiety, as well the technology, driving dynamics, durability and quality already established in our TX model. These benchmark credentials make VN5 a desirable green transport solution for any commercial vehicle operator.”