The courier firm will be one of 25 partners involved in the VN5 van testing.

The London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) has begun testing its first commercial vehicle in partnership with courier firm DPD – one of 25 different partners that will be involved in the VN5 electric van testing programme.

The van, based on the same underpinnings as the TX taxi that has already proved popular in London and other major cities, will be launched later this year. Until then, DPD is trialling TX-based prototypes on the UK's roads.

It will have the same electric powertrain as the taxi, with an electric-only range of 63 miles and a total range of 301 miles with the use of the range extender, and a turning circle of just 10.1 metres making it ideal for city running.

LEVC begins testing new van with DPD

"We are delighted that DPD is the first company to begin testing of our VN5 taxi-van prototypes," said LEVC CEO Joerg Hofmann. "These real-world tests mark a milestone occasion in the history of LEVC, as the company continues its transformation from an iconic British taxi brand to a leading electric vehicle manufacturer.

"VN5 is set to revolutionise green logistics and we are looking forward to working with DPD as it puts the vehicle through its paces. Feedback from major business operators will be crucial to the further development of the van as we rapidly move to its launch in Q4 this year."

DPD CEO Dwain McDonald added: "It is great to work with LEVC. It is such an iconic British brand and another great Midlands-based business.

"We are keen to see how the technology works for us. It is a very flexible solution and it could well help solve a few challenges.

"It is very smart, and we like that. For example, we could use geo-fencing so that it switches automatically to electric-only on entering urban areas, including low emissions zones. We will certainly give it a good test and we’ll see how it works out."

Gallery: LEVC begins testing new van with DPD