LEVC VN5 Review 2024

LEVC VN5 At A Glance


+Efficient plug-in petrol hybrid van, capable of travelling up to 61-miles on pure electricity, comfortable interior, five-year/150,000 mile warranty.

-Expensive to buy new, high load floor, limited dealer network.

The LEVC VN5 is the small electric hybrid van with mass appeal. Easy to use, nimble to drive, cheap to run and backed by a long warranty, the VN5 is a highly competent and likeable small panel van.

LEVC - which stands for the London Electric Vehicle Company - is based in Coventry and is owned by the Chinese motoring giant Geely. Not content with building the successful London electric taxi, the black cab specialist is now revolutionising the commercial vehicle market with its affordable and practical small electric hybrid van.

The VN5 borrows a lot of its technology and oily parts with the Volvo XC40 plug-in hybrid - also owned by Geely - and this means you get a class-leading hybrid system that can power the van for 61-miles on pure electricity or up to 301-miles when the battery is operated in unison with the three-cylinder 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine.

Officially the VN5 will return 313mpg, but that figure is based on the van being used with a full charge most of the time. The battery pack is located under the loadspace floor and a full charge takes eight hours from a 3.5kW three-pin plug or three hours and forty-five minutes from a 7kW wallbox. The battery can also be fast charged from zero to full in 30 minutes when hooked up to a 50kW fast charger

LEVC says the VN5 has been engineered to last twice as long as a diesel van, which is why it's sold with a five-year/150,000 miles warranty. The battery is also guaranteed for eight-years or 150,000 miles - whichever comes first.

There isn't a lot of choice when it comes to bodystyles; the VN5 is offered in a single wheelbase, which provides a maximum payload of 830kg and 5.5 cubic meters of load space. All vans get a single side sliding door as standard and all versions will carry two Euro pallets. Gross Vehicle Weights (GVW) peak at 2900kg, but there is no tow bar option due to the fact the VN5 doesn't have an authorised tow weight.

On the road, the VN5 is easy to drive and comfortable. The interior isn't as spacious as the Ford Transit Connect or Vauxhall Combo, but the seats are supportive and all of the main controls are easy to find. The steering is nicely weighted, too, while the narrow front axle allows the van to perform a complete circle turn in just 10.1 metres. A lot of the interior switchgear is lifted from the Volvo XC40, too, which means everything has high quality and upmarket feel.

If you've always liked the idea of owning an electric van but have been put off by the idea of range anxiety then the VN5 will be the perfect compromise. Easy to use, practical and capable of travelling significant distances with zero tailpipe emissions, it's an impressive small van. The high list price might put off some new van buyers but the low fuel costs and exemption from clean air zones will make the VN5 a tempting long term ownership proposition for many operators and businesses.

Ask Honest John

Which vans contain the largest UK content in terms of manufactured components and labour?

"Which vans contain the largest UK content in terms of manufactured components and labour? Currently, I'm looking to purchase and hopefully offer some support to UK manufacturing. Are Vauxhall’s just a badged Renaults? Thank you."
Probably the LEVC VN5: https://vans.honestjohn.co.uk/van-reviews/levc/vn5/ It's built in Coventry at a brand new factory and many of its components are sourced locally. However, that said, you'll struggle to find any van in the UK with 100% locally sourced parts. LEVC is owned by the Chinese firm Geely (which also owns Volvo). As a result, the VN5 shares many of its key parts with the XC40 and many of its parts are built in Sweden, Belgium and China.
Answered by Dan Powell
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