London Electric Vehicle Company builds protype range extender van

LEVC van

The London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) has begun building protypes for its new electric range extender van at the company’s factory in Coventry.

The LEVC van prototypes are being built on the same line as the company’s world famous TX taxis and will be subjected to development and homologation programme that includes hot and cold climate testing, durability and crash testing.

Built using the same aluminium body as the TX electric taxi, the LEVC van also shares the taxi’s class-leading turning circle of just 10.1m – a requirement of London black cabs. LEVC also claims that the electric van will offer class leading total cost of ownership as well as being resistant to rust thanks to its aluminium architecture.

Joerg Hofmann, CEO of LEVC, said: “Prototype stage is an important milestone in our new electric van’s development process as we stay on track towards full production in Q4. This new van satisfies the growing demand zero-emissions vehicles in the 1-tonne segment, currently dominated by diesel products, and combines this with extended mileage capability to totally eliminate any range-anxiety. It’s an intelligent green mobility solution for any commercial vehicle operator.”

The van is said to be capable of an 80 mile electric only range with the range extender, based on the TX e-City cab, allowing up to 370 miles of driving. 

Innes & Son waits 24 years to buy next new Volvo

James Innes & Son

Bulk tipper operator James Innes & Son has bought its first new Volvo in nearly a quarter of a century.

The last Volvo purchased by the Portsoy-based haulier was 24 years ago, but the new new Volvo FH Globetrotter tag axle tractor unit will be used to compare dealer support and back-up levels. The FH 500 will also be used as a comparison against its largely Scania fleet, as it transports either a Fruehauf or Wilcox bodied tipper trailer on grain haulage.

Supplied by Volvo Truck and Bus Centre North & Scotland, the 6x2 was ordered on a medium height chassis with Hyva hydraulics and a Jost low-maintenance fifth wheel. It is also the first vehicle to bear a new white livery, replacing the current gold cabs.

“We’ll use the white based livery from now on, as it helps with the resale process and saves the cost of repainting vehicles into a neutral colour,” explains Neil Innes, James Innes & Son MD.

“I’ve specified the Globetrotter cab to include leather trims, a microwave oven and a coffee maker, in addition to an under-bunk fridge / freezer,” Innes added, as his drivers regularly spend as many as four nights out per week.

The last Volvo to be operated by the firm was an early version Volvo FH in 1995, however, prior to that the ran a number of 6-wheel Volvo F86s, two 8-wheeler F86s and a number of F10 and FL10 models. In 1983 the company switched almost exclusively to Scania.

“I thought it was time for a change,” Innes said. “The Volvo FH’s performance will gives us a useful benchmark and it will also be interesting to compare dealer support and back up levels. I’m confident that Kevin Fraser, our local Volvo salesman, will look after us and he’s also going to monitor the truck’s fuel returns via Dynafleet.”