The British company LEVC (London Electric Vehicle Company), owned by the Chinese hodling Geely, introduced a modular SOA (Space Oriented Architecture) platform, designed for a new family of electric vans and vans – with them LEVC wants to become a major player in the global car market for light commercial vehicles.
Founded in 2013, the London Electric Vehicle Company became the successor to the London Taxi Company, whose history we told in a separate large material, 100% of LEVC shares are owned by the Chinese holding Geely. At the moment, LEVC is a niche manufacturer of plug-in hybrid taxis and vans based on them, LEVC's own plant in Ansty (a suburb of Coventry) produces only 3,000 cars a year, the company sells them mainly in the UK, although there are left-hand drive versions for the continental Europe and some Asian countries.
In January, it became known that the management of Geely planned to turn LEVC into a global brand of commercial electric vehicles over the next five years, and yesterday a presentation of a new platform for future models took place. The platform is called SOA (Space Oriented Architecture), it uses some elements of the SEA platform, well-known for passenger models of the Geely holding, in particular electric motors, power electronics and batteries, but the hardware is designed from scratch for heavy load and long-term operation.
The SOA platform is designed for light commercial vehicles with a wheelbase from 3000 to 3800 mm and an overall length of an all-metal body from 4860 to 5955 mm (versions with superstructures, of course, can be longer). The front suspension is McPherson spring type, the rear is pneumatic multi-link, although there will be simplified truck versions with rear leaf spring suspension. ” />
The key benefits of the SOA platform are a flat floor, a lower loading height than most competitors, and a torsional rigidity of the body at the level of sports cars – 41,000 Nm/degree. The dynamic qualities of all-wheel drive top versions will also be at the level of sports cars: with a dual-engine power plant with a total power of about 550 hp. acceleration to 100 km/h takes less than 5 s. Base versions will have a single electric motor on the rear axle.
The battery capacity is 73, 102 or 120 kWh, the maximum power reserve on a single charge is 695 km. High charging power is promised, it will allow you to “feed” the battery from 10% to 80% in half an hour. Equipment in terms of driving electronics can be very rich, up to the SAE level 4 autopilot, in which the driver does not need to do anything at all – even sleeping while driving is allowed.
So far, LEVC has announced vans, four-row minibuses, luxury minivans and taxis on the SOA platform, but in theory there may be other derivatives such as pickups . The taxis will continue to be assembled at the Ansty plant, the new models will not replace, but complement the existing hybrid models with Volvo power plants, the capacity of the British plant will grow from 3,000 to 20,000 cars a year. The basis for the volume of production of new LEVC models will be provided by Chinese Geely enterprises (which ones are still unknown), while the SOA platform is declared exclusive to LEVC, that is, other brands of the Chinese holding will not receive it.