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Cars LEVC boss pleads for government to retain plug-in grant

17:45  19 february  2020
17:45  19 february  2020 Source:   autocar.co.uk

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The boss of taxi-maker LEVC has called for the UK government to retain the grant for plug - in vehicles, as he announced plans The grant is also seen as vital for LEVC ’s expansion plans, which should see the Coventry factory’s output expand from 2500 units in 2019 to the plant's capacity of 20

In Parliament I highlighted how the London EV Company is pioneering the next generation of electric taxis. With over 3,000 already on the streets of London they are reducing CO2 emissions substantially. It's vital the Government continues to support the take up of electric vehicles so that the UK meets it's

a car parked on the side of a building: LEVC boss pleads for government to retain plug-in grant © Autocar LEVC boss pleads for government to retain plug-in grant

The boss of taxi-maker LEVC has called for the UK government to retain the grant for plug-in vehicles, as he announced plans for a significant expansion of his company.

Joerg Hofmann told Autocar that the grant is scheduled to expire in six weeks, but that it is vital in ramping up sales of plug-in vehicles. Buyers of LEVC’s range-extender taxi benefit from a grant of as much as £7500 when buying a top-of-the-range £59,000 TX5 cab.

The grant is also seen as vital for LEVC’s expansion plans, which should see the Coventry factory’s output expand from 2500 units in 2019 to the plant's capacity of 20,000 units annually, by the end of 2022.

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Plug - in charging. The company said it has held talks with UK government officials about the plan.[4] In May 2016, Geely secured The LEVC TX is built on a unique platform, underpinned by a bonded aluminum chassis built in the UK, giving the LEVC TX a 32 percent parts localisation rate by value.

To qualify for the plug - in car grant any multi-stage built M1 vehicle will need to have been approved as a completed vehicle (e.g. comprising both chassis and bodywork). An approval for a vehicle that has not been completed will not be accepted. This is to make sure that vehicles driven off the forecourt when

Key to this huge expansion is the new LEVC range-extender van, which goes on sale in October.

‘We are transforming from a niche taxi builder to competing in the commercial vehicle market’ Hofmann told Autocar. ‘We will be competing in the 1 tonne van market, which is worth 600,000 sales across Europe annually, though this may rise to as many as 1 million over the coming years’ he said.

‘At the moment this market is 99% diesel, but our new van will be a viable low-emissions vehicle for the majority of logistics companies. We call this market “distribution to door”. Hofmann says conventional EV vans cannot compete in this market because they are so limited on range.

The TX van, however, gets 80 miles from its 31kWh battery and has a three-cylinder petrol range extender for a total range of around 400 miles. Like the new London cab, it’s expected that users will employ the range-extender while travelling from logistics bases, deploying the battery when they reach the city centre. Hofmann also revealed that the new van should be ‘notably’ cheaper to buy than the TX cab.

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In addition to the actual government housing grants , assistance is offered in the form of low-interest loans and down-payment funding, to help families who might not otherwise have the means to become homeowners. These federal housing programs are the largest single source of home grants , but they

Apply for a free government grant and receive free money. Get grants for college, small business, women, housing, and personal grants . The federal, state and local government offer a wide variety of financial assistance programs in favor of individuals and organizations.

Using figures from existing TX cab owners, LEVC estimates a saving of at least £100 per week on fuel compared to a conventional diesel van, and says that a lease cost of around £180 per week is entirely feasible. The cab has an official CO2 rating of just 20g/km; LEVC claims the taxis it has sold so far (which have covered a total of 95 million miles to date) have allowed a reduction in CO2 of 30,000 tonnes over the equivalent diesel taxis, along with a 99.5% reduction in NOx emissions.

a car parked in a parking lot © Provided by Autocar

When the TX van is in full production, it is expected to account for 14,000 of the annual 20,000-unit factory capacity. LEVC has also opened an export office in Frankfurt and says it has had interest from Japan, the Middle East, Australia and other global markets. The company is also set to recruit an extra 100 people this year.

Hofmann also gave an insight into the difficulty of making a business case for plug-in vehicles. He told Autocar that the 31kWh battery - which is sourced from LG in Korea - amounts to nearly 30% of the cost of the whole vehicle.

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your plug - in grant application number, your in-house reference number, the customer’s name or vehicle registration number to search for an existing order. Plug - in vehicle grant portal. Grant schemes for electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Documents. Plug - in vehicle grant portal: user guidance. If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email webmasterdft@dft.gov.uk.

He hinted that LEVC profit margins were ‘very tight’ at the moment due to the cost of battery technology. However, it seems that the UK government is actively working on supporting a big expansion of battery design and manufacturing in the UK.

The Coronavirus outbreak has not yet affected LEVC production, but Hofmann said that supplies from China were currently only certain for two weeks. The supply of components to the TX line can be split by value: 40% UK, 30% EU and 30% Rest of the World, Hofmann said.

He also cautioned the Government that the UK automotive industry desperately needed a a trade deal with the EU that was tariff-free. ‘Without that we are in trouble, it’s a big problem for all the industry. An FTA [Free Trade Agreement] with no tariffs means we will be fine’.

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