The London Electric Vehicle Company has started trials of its VN5 electric van with the UK’s Royal Mail postal service. Thanks to the similarities between the company’s TX Taxi and the VN5, it is deploying a fleet of converted TX-based prototypes using a full interior van conversion, kick-starting trials ahead of official VN5 launch later this year. The UK postal service and courier provider is one of 25 business partners taking part in the trials, all using the converted TX-based vehicles.
Paul Gatti, fleet director at Royal Mail, explained that the company was keen to be a part of the trial: “As a company, we are committed to making changes to our operations that reduce our environmental impact, while ensuring we continue to meet customer expectations. Alongside the introduction of electric vans in locations across our business, this trial is part of a program of initiatives that allow us to experiment with ways to achieve this, while enabling us to continue to deliver letters and parcels safely, efficiently and responsibly.”
LEVC says that the VN5 easily accommodates two Euro sized pallets with a gross payload of over 800kg (1,760 lb). 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. Notably, the VN5 is not just an inner-city specialist, and thanks to its series hybrid drivetrain has been designed to provide ‘distribution to door’ – not just last-mile – capability, creating a link between out of town depots and city centers.
Joerg Hofmann, CEO, LEVC, commented, “Royal Mail is one of the oldest postal services in the world and, like our London black cab, is part of British history and culture. It is great that these two iconic brands are joining forces for this trial. The VN5 prototypes will wear the iconic Royal Mail red livery and be used on routes that will test the vehicles’ ability to the full. These trials are crucial to the final development of the van, ahead of its launch later this year.”