There are a growing number of great electric vans on offer and making the right choice for our future fleet electrification won’t be an easy one. We snapped up the opportunity to take the VN5 with us on the job; Graeme in our Operations team took the new electric van from LEVC out on the road for a test drive.
If you could only see the VN5 from the front, you’d be forgiven for mistaking it for a London cab. The electric van poses all the elegance of an LEVC taxi combined with a robust ‘white van’. Running solely on electricity, the electric vehicle also has a 1.5ltr generator on board should it be required to pump some juice into the battery. With a sliding door on the side and double opening doors to the rear, the VN5 has been built for practicality.
Leaving with a full battery, Graeme’s first trip saw him drive from our HQ in County Durham, to Worcester, with stops in both Stroud and Evesham; a round trip of 600 miles.
With 30 miles left on the battery and half a tank on the generator, the first on-the-go charge was at Woodall services, 129 miles from home. The job required an overnight stay and before hitting the road for the long haul, Graeme charged up at Gloucestershire and then again while on site with a customer.
Using one of our 22kW, dual-socket Eve chargers, the second charge was simply a top-up. The power was split between the VN5 and another electric vehicle that was already charging. Taking in 11kW of power the charge took around 2 hours, gaining an extra 33 miles on the battery.
That was plenty to get back to HQ and when asked about how he felt driving it Graeme said, “I found it very comfortable on the road, it was nice to drive and smooth when navigating bumpy roads. I didn’t feel anxious at any point about recharging or reaching our destination.”
The VN5 is definitely fit-for-purpose and deceivingly big. Ideal for use as an electrical maintenance van, rather than an installation van there was plenty of room in the back for tools and service equipment. It may not be suitable for every trade, but for a small business carrying out local jobs, it gets a thumbs up.
Graeme added, “I found the look very striking, as did passers-by and other road users; many people correctly identified its taxi heritage. The interior felt like a step up from the usual van offering, and the van itself was much bigger than I realised, but still easy to manoeuvre.”
As part of our commitment to net zero, we aim to transition our full fleet of service vehicles to electric by March 2022.
If you need support or guidance with transitioning your fleet to electric, call us on 0191 417 3719.