LEVC has begun real-world testing for its new VN5 electrified van by supplying a prototype to parcel delivery firm DPD.

The prototype is based on a converted TX London taxi, which uses the same powertrain as the VN5 – a range extender capable of 63 miles of electric driving, which can be extended to 301 miles using the onboard petrol engine.

The prototype vehicle, which has received a full interior van conversion, comes ahead of the official launch of the VN5 which is scheduled for later this year.

LEVC plans to hold trials with more than 25 business partners over the next few months, in industries ranging from tool and equipment hire to energy suppliers and postal services.

LEVC CEO Joerg Hofmann said: “We are delighted that DPD is the first company to begin testing of our VN5 taxi-van prototypes.

“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 said: “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.”