Electric black cab company launches modular, scalable EV platform
LEVC has been making and selling an electrified versions of the UK capital's iconic black cab for a few years now, not just in London but all around the world. Now, with development help from Geely, the company is moving beyond electric taxis with the launch a new flexible EV platform.
Earlier this year, the London Electric Vehicle Company revealed that its TX model is now the most common black cab in London, with more than 6,000 vehicles operating in the city and globally clocking up over 534 million miles.
The company also manufactures an electric work van and has even indicated that an electric camper might be in its future. And another milestone was announced in March, when its 10,000th vehicle rolled off the production line at its facility in Ansty, Coventry.
The Space Oriented Architecture (SOA) platform has been co-developed with the the Geely Holding Group over the last two and a half years at R&D centers in China, Sweden, the UK and Germany, and "will provide the foundation of its transformation from a high-end taxi manufacturer, to a leading provider of e-mobility solutions."
"Building on LEVC’s unrivalled heritage in producing the iconic London black cab, we are adapting our business to meet the rapidly accelerating demand for spacious, flexible electric vehicles," said LEVC CEO, Alex Nan. "Our rich history is combined with the resources of the Geely organization to set our brand on an exciting new path, as LEVC launches an adaptable architecture for an adapting world. With the combined strength of our new strategy and SOA, we will bring advanced zero-emission transportation to more customers than ever before."
The SOA architecture has been designed to maximize available space inside. The battery bank is positioned in the center of the "truly flat floor" between the wheels. The electric powertrain is packaged to the front, with the front end optimized to meet five-star safety standards in Europe and China. And the design allows for extra cargo capacity under the main luggage space behind the rear axle, thanks to an "innovative rear suspension design."
The platform will support electric vehicle's running from 4,860 to 5,995 mm (191 - 236 in) in length and with widths of 1,945 to 1,998 mm (76.5 - 78.6 in), and can accommodate wheelbases from 3,000 to 3,800 mm (118 - 149.6 in). Front-wheel-drive, rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive layouts can also be configured in.
Battery capacity is also flexible, starting from 73 kWh up to 120 kWh, with maximum range reported to be 695 km (432 miles) and fast-charging is supported too. A low-step entry and a flexible interior can cater for numerous seating configurations for passenger vehicles and the cargo-hauling needs of fleet operators.
The open-source platform is home to new chip-to-cloud digital brains dubbed L-OS, which can add Level 2 to Level 4 autonomous capabilities as well as offer future-proofing courtesy of over-the-air software updates and "the ultimate in intelligent, digital cockpits with high feature content and functionality."
"SOA optimizes onboard space offering multiple configurations and endless possibilities, a new advanced EV platform which supports LEVC’s new strategy to become a leading zero-carbon mobility provider," added Nan. "Combined with our groundbreaking L-OS digital architecture, it will bring our new mission to life, delivering smart, green, safe and accessible mobility to all, enabling us to transform from a high-end taxi manufacturer, launching LEVC into new sectors, with an extended range of state-of-the-art pure electric vehicles."