The BP Pulse electric vehicle (EV) charging network has acquired a new fleet of British-built electric vans. The Coventry-based London Electric Vehicle Company, or LEVC, has supplied the charging network with 30 of its VN5 vans, which share much with the firm’s flagship TX electric taxis.
Like the TX taxis that are becoming a common sight on the streets of London and other UK cities, the VN5 vans use LEVC’s eCity electric powertrain. That combines a battery and an electric motor with a small petrol range extender. The engine never powers the wheels, but acts as a kind of on-board power station, topping up the battery.
As a result, the vans boast an official electric range of more than 60 miles and a total flexible range of 304 miles. However, LEVC claims a “more frugal driver” can achieve a 76-mile pure electric range in urban environments.
The VN5s use the same lightweight bonded aluminium architecture as the TX taxi, and LEVC says the vehicles are “designed to last twice as long as the competition”. Inside, the VN5s offer a 5.5-cubic-metre load bay capable of carrying two Euro pallets and up to 830 kg. That space is accessed via a side loading door or a 60/40-split rear door.
In the hands of BP Pulse, the new vans will be used by the company’s electricians to install charging points across the country, as well as helping field service engineers maintain the UK-wide network of more than 8,000 public charging points. The VN5s represent the first phase of a plan to electrify all BP Pulse’s commercial vehicles, with half the fleet already running on electric power.
To help them in their task, the LEVC vans have racking and storage equipment installed by LEVC’s official conversion partner, Sortimo. And through an existing partnership agreement, BP Pulse is offering LEVC VN5 customers free charging for one year across its network of charging points.
“I am pleased to announce BP Pulse as one of our first fleet customers in the UK,” said LEVC’s CEO, Joerg Hoffmann. “VN5 is the ideal solution for businesses looking to electrify their fleet and transition to greener mobility, offering zero-emission capability with minimal downtime and no range-anxiety.”
Meanwhile Ross Mabon, the COO of BP Pulse, said the network needed vehicles that would meet its needs while also using electric power.
“As a leading provider of EV charging infrastructure, we have placed great importance on ensuring that we electrify our commercial fleet with vehicles that meet our business needs while delivering significant zero emissions capability,” he said. “The LEVC VN5 is in the right segment for us and will ensure that our electricians can carry out their work reliably and efficiently.”