The prototype vehicle, which is based on LEVC’s VN5 and TX taxi models, will deliver products to customers at sites across London over the next few months.
The trials are looking to see if the new electric taxi van is a viable alternative to diesel-powered one-tonne vans.
The trial forms part of a larger programme for LEVC, which spans 25 vehicles being tested across a range of industries, with other partners including Royal Mail, DPD and Octopus Energy.
Based on the traditional London taxicab, the van’s powertrain has an initial limit of 61 miles and a petrol range extender, which maintains the battery charge state to provide a total range of 300 miles.
Speedy and LEVC developed the vehicle, which has had a full interior van conversion to accommodate two Euro-sized pallets with a gross payload of 800kg, at LEVC’s factory in Coventry.
Aaron Powell, head of fleet at Speedy, said: “The construction sector accounts for 10% of the UK’s carbon emissions and we recognise that the hire industry is uniquely placed to introduce innovative, sustainable solutions that can reduce this. This new electric van will set a new standard for small electric commercial vehicles, LEVC’s powertrain technology has already saved 36,000 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere through its use in the taxi and shuttle market.
“Energise, our environmental and social responsibility programme, sits at the heart of how we operate and together with satisfying the demand for low-carbon products, we’re committed to revolutionising how we collect and deliver them for our customers. We look forward to growing our partnership with LEVC to bring greener transport options into the sector.”
LEVC chief executive Joerg Hofmann said: “We are pleased to be joining forces with Speedy, adding another high-profile name to our growing roster of VN5 trial partners. Its business is based on delivering tools and equipment to construction and infrastructure sites, often in and around large cities: the kind of working day our new flexible, zero-emission capable one-tonne van was built for. We are looking forward to developing our relationship with Speedy over the coming months.”