LEVC’s real-world testing and trial phase for VN5, its new electric van, has added a new partner: the UK entech company Octopus Energy, an energy retailer focused on driving the technology-enabled green energy system. Octopus Energy engineers will use the VN5 prototypes to install the very same electric chargers the vans use, in the first ever circular real-world trial of its kind.
The company adds a new industry and test phase to the already active Royal Mail and DPD test vehicles and is the latest company to take delivery of a converted TX prototype in the UK. Due to the similarities between TX taxi and VN5, LEVC is deploying a fleet of prototype TX models with a full interior van conversion, to enable trials ahead of official VN5 launch later this year.
Octopus Energy is a UK energy retailer, specialising in renewable energy and servicing over 1.5 million domestic customers across the country. The VN5 prototype TX’s will be used by the company’s energy services arm, who provide engineers to install various electric hardware for business and domestic customers, most notable of which will be electric vehicle chargers. With the need for space for tools, electrical equipment and PPE, the VN5 prototypes will be tested to ensure they can withstand the load and allow the engineers to do work with a lower carbon impact.
Joerg Hofmann, LEVC CEO, commented: “At LEVC we are committed to making the commercial vehicle sector a greener, cleaner business environment and it is great to have Octopus Energy on board for these trials as we have a shared interest in sustainable products and services. I’m confident they will enjoy a successful trial phase and look forward to a future partnership with Octopus Energy when VN5 launches later this year.”
Launching in Q4 2020, VN5 is based on the same architecture and proven eCity range-extender technology as LEVC’s TX electric taxi and gives a pure EV range of 58 miles (93 km)*and a total flexible range of over 300 miles (484 km)*. Like the TX Taxi, VN5 is equipped with a class-leading turning circle of just 10.1m for unrivalled mobility in busy city environments.
VN5’s cargo capacity easily accommodates two Euro sized pallets with a gross payload of over 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.
John Szymik, CEO of Octopus Energy Services, commented: “As a renewable energy provider we are passionate about moving the world from fossil fuels to renewable power. This includes the transport sector – one of the largest contributors to CO2 emissions globally. Transitioning our own fleet to electric vehicles is one of the first steps in our plan to drive the electrification of transport. We’re incredibly excited to be involved with the VN5 trial and will be using the vans to install the very chargers they use, improving green infrastructure across the country and lowering carbon emissions as we do it.
LEVC’s trial phase is taking place over the next few months and will see over 25 partners take delivery of the test vehicles, ranging from tool & equipment hire; to energy suppliers and delivery services. These companies have been specifically chosen to put the vehicle through a variety of different use cases.