Speedy, the UK's leading tools, equipment and plant hire services company, has partnered with The London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) to trial the first electric taxi delivery van to be used in the construction industry.
The prototype vehicle, which is based on LEVC's VN5 and TX Taxi models, will deliver a range of products to customers at sites across London, from power tools and safety equipment to generators and concrete mixers.
The partners say the trial, which will take place over the next few months will look to prove the new electric taxi van can meet the growing demand for one-tonne, zero emission commercial vehicles across the construction industry, which is currently dominated by diesel models.
Based on the traditional London taxicab, the van's powertrain has an initial limit of 61 miles and a petrol range extender, which maintains the battery charge state to provide a total range of over 300 miles.
Speedy and LEVC developed the vehicle, which has had a full interior van conversion to accommodate two Euro-sized pallets with a gross payload of over 800kg, at the manufacturer's purpose-built factory in Coventry.
Aaron Powell, Head of Fleet at Speedy, said: "The construction sector accounts for 10 per cent of the UK's carbon emissions and we recognise that the hire industry is uniquely placed to introduce innovative, sustainable solutions that can reduce this. This new electric van will set a new standard for small electric commercial vehicles, LEVC's powertrain technology has already saved 36,000 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere through its use in the taxi and shuttle market.
"Energise, our environmental and social responsibility programme, sits at the heart of how we operate and together with satisfying the demand for low-carbon products, we’re committed to revolutionising how we collect and deliver them for our customers. We look forward to growing our partnership with LEVC to bring greener transport options into the sector."
Joerg Hofmann, LEVC CEO, commented: "We are pleased to be joining forces with Speedy, adding another high-profile name to our growing roster of VN5 trial partners. Its business is based on delivering tools and equipment to construction and infrastructure sites, often in and around large cities: the kind of working day our new flexible, zero-emission capable one-tonne van was built for. We are looking forward to developing our relationship with Speedy over the coming months."
The trial forms part of a larger programme for LEVC, which spans 25 vehicles being tested across a range of industries, with other partners including Royal Mail, DPD and Octopus Energy.