The London Taxi Company has announced it will produce a range-extended electric light commercial vehicle.

The announcement comes as the Geely-owned firm opened its brand-new research and development and manufacturing facility in Coventry where it will build the van and the next-generation London taxi.

Details of the new panel van are thin on the ground at this stage, but the company claimed the model would help fleet customers to lower their running costs while improving air quality in the capital.

A spokesman for the company told What Van? first deliveries of the new LCV is likely to commence 12 to 18 months after the taxi, which is due to go on sale towards the end of this year.

No range information has been revealed at this stage, but the spokesman said the taxi variant should be capable of travelling at least 70 miles on battery power alone.

That means the van should be eligible for the Government’s Plug-in Van Grant, which will reduce the cost by 20% up to a maximum of £8,000.

The firm announced its intention to target the ‘last-mile’ delivery, distribution and maintenance sectors and claimed the new LCV “will be able to handle the toughest urban environments.”

“This is going to be the future proofed ’white van’ that people have been waiting for. Designed solely for the urban commercial sector, dedicated to the people who keep our cities working, it will be clean, competitive and ready for cities of the future,” said Chris Grubbey, CEO of the London Taxi Company.