Diegem – As of today, you can spot the first electric version of the LEVC (London Electric Vehicle Company) brand on the road. The newcomer’s design is based on that of the iconic London taxicabs, which have been produced by LEVC since 1908. The most recent model has received a thorough facelift, the technology is also innovative. The LEVC VN5 is powered by an electric motor that is equipped with a so-called ‘range extender’. This makes the LEVC a unique type of electrically powered vehicle, which is extremely suitable as a delivery van.
First LEVC in Belgium
It is a bit of a surprise when you cross the VN5 of LEVC on the track. The van is the modern version of the classic London taxi. That makes the car very typical and recognizable. Yet it is also not a familiar sight on our Belgian roads. That is now changing. LeasePlan has just purchased the first electric LEVC from distributor Sterckx – De Smet.
The LEVC is today taken into use by Hazgo, a logistics player located near Brussels Airport. “We have been looking for a sustainable alternative for our vans for some time, but that turned out to be less obvious than expected for freight transport,” says Tom Heymans, Managing Partner of Hazgo. “With the LEVC, Hazgo has found the ideal combination between sustainability and efficiency.” The fact that the vans stand out because of their unique appearance and special design is a bonus.
Solution-oriented and sustainable thinking
A fully electric van was not an option for Hazgo, which carries out daily transports throughout Belgium. The autonomy of these vehicles is still insufficient for a logistics company today. In addition, the range decreases quickly with heavy loads and the network of fast chargers in our country is still somewhat limited. The VN5 from LEVC, which guarantees an autonomy of 480 kilometers, provides the solution.
The LEVC vans are supplied by the automotive group Sterckx – De Smet, which also distributes other brands of the Geely group, such as Volvo, Polestar and Lotus, in Belgium. LEVC may already be a new brand on the Belgian market, but for maintenance Hazgo can fall back on a broad network of experienced dealers from Sterckx – De Smet, a long-standing partner of LeasePlan, a pioneer in the electrification of the leasing market. Hazgo also calls on LeasePlan for the development of a sustainable fleet.
Bram Vanhengel (Sterckx – De Smet), Marte De Cremer (LeasePlan), Uri Lauwers (Hazgo)
Extra autonomy through ‘range extender’
LEVC is one of the first brands to introduce a so-called REEV: Range Extended Electric Vehicle. The vehicle has a 100% electric drive and has a range extender. “That is a “generator” that drives the electric motor. The ‘range extender’ ensures that the driver always continues to drive electrically, even when the battery capacity is used up, the range extender will supply the battery to continue driving, the vehicle can also charge while driving”, says Bram Vanhengel, Business Development Director at Sterckx – De Smet.
On a purely electric basis, the cars have a range of approximately 110 kilometers, but thanks to the range extender, the LEVC VN5 has an autonomy of no less than 480 kilometers. Fossil fuel is only needed to power the generator, but that is limited. With CO2 emissions of 19 g/km, the cars are at least ten times more sustainable than most current diesel & petrol engines.
Reliability and short delivery time
LEVC is a new brand on Belgian roads, but the delivery vans have been in use for some time in other countries. The VN5 has made its mark, gets its technology from Volvo and has proven to be extremely reliable, which is of course crucial for a logistics company like Hazgo. LEVC therefore offers a warranty period of five years or 240,000 kilometers. Unlike many other brands, the delivery time of the LEVC is limited to three to four months.