BT Group is the latest fleet to test the LEVC (London Electric Vehicle Company) VN5 electric van ahead of official production starting in November.
Due to the similarities between TX taxi and VN5, LEVC is deploying a fleet of converted TX electric taxis to act as VN5 prototypes, featuring a full interior van conversion.
BT, which has taken delivery of two converted TX electric taxis, joins other UK businesses in the real-world fleet trial such as Royal Mail, DPD and Octopus Energy.
The telecoms giant says it plans to use the vehicles in as many roles and locations around the UK as possible. Its technology division will use the vehicle for field engineers, starting with a power exchange engineer, based in Wrexham, Wales, while its supply chain team will initially use a vehicle for logistics support in Northallerton, Yorkshire.
Joerg Hofmann, LEVC CEO, said: “We are pleased to be joining forces with BT, adding yet another household name to our growing roster of trial partners.
“Thanks to its eCity powertrain, VN5 totally removes range anxiety, so whether it is being used for remote rural visits or to cover jobs in town, BT’s drivers will know they have the flexibility to work in the most efficient way possible.”
BT has pledged to become a net zero carbon emissions business by 2045 and is especially interested in how it can best use electric vehicles for its operations in rural areas.
Cyril Pourrat, chief procurement officer at BT, explained: “With the second largest commercial fleet in the UK, the switch to low and zero emissions vehicles is central to our carbon strategy and will help us to become a net zero emissions business by 2045.
“To speed up that transition, we’re calling on the UK Government to target 100% electric car and van sales by 2030, extend grants for electric vehicles and to unlock infrastructure investment to support the rollout of public charge-points across the country.”
VN5 is based on the same architecture and eCity range-extender technology as LEVC’s TX electric taxi, offering the same electric powertrain with a pure EV range of 61 miles (98 km) and a total flexible range of more than 300 miles (484 km).
VN5 cargo capacity easily accommodates two Euro sized pallets with a gross payload of more than 800kg.
It has been built with a large side-loading door (enabling a pallet to be side-loaded) and a 60/40 split door at the rear to make loading and unloading easy for the driver.
More than 25 business are taking part in LEVC’s electric van trials, which will see key partners, ranging from tool & equipment hire to energy suppliers and delivery services take delivery of the VN5 prototypes.
These companies have been specifically chosen to put the vehicle through a variety of different use cases.
LEVC is also working with converters to create authorised conversions across a number of different sectors including: utility, parcel delivery, facilities management, refrigeration and emergency services.