The dramatic increase in online shopping and home deliveries has created a strong demand for new vans in recent years. The environmental challenge is to ensure that light commercial vehicles play their role in de-carbonising UK transport, whilst meeting the requirements for clean air zones and customer expectations. These forces create a design, development and manufacturing opportunity for the UK.
Following the successful launch of the new plug-in hybrid TX electric taxi, Coventry-based LEVC accelerated the development of a new plug-in hybrid electric van to meet the growing market demand for lightweight, zero-emission capable, range extended light commercial vehicles.
A consortium of project partners came together through the APC with the UK Range Extended Electric Vehicle (UK REEV) project. The aim was to deliver a light commercial vehicle development programme which optimises vehicle fuel efficiency combined with new manufacturing processes to support the manufacture of the new vehicle, now called VN5, in the same Ansty factory where the TX taxi is produced.
Over a four year period, APC has directed £17.5 million into the £46.7 million UK REEV project and today welcomes the launch of VN5, the all-new light commercial vehicle, designed and manufactured in the UK, with a supply chain supporting more than 2,000 jobs.
Through the project HSSMI and the University of Brighton have enabled LEVC to develop recovery and vehicle-wide recycling strategies, establish and develop an End of Life management strategy alongside efficient new manufacturing operations. As the VN5 developed from design to production, APC has been able to support the UK REEV consortium to maximise the commercial opportunity for LEVC and benefit to the UK.
The VN5 has now started production and vehicles are currently on trial with fleets across the UK including Royal Mail, BT and DPD.