The Chinese-owned London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) has revealed the new platform that will underpin its electric vehicles, including the famous London black cab.
LEVC – which shares its Geely parent company with Volvo, Lotus, Polestar and Proton – says the new platform can be customised for purpose-built vehicles aimed at taxi, ride share, or commercial delivery operators.
The brand currently offers London’s famous cabbies an electric alternative to their existing cars, along with an electric van. It’s likely the new platform will underpin next-gen versions of those vehicles.
Named the Space Oriented Architecture (SOA), it has been developed over the last two and a half years across China, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Germany.
SOA can support vehicles from 4860mm to 5995mm in length, 1945mm to 1998mm in width, and vehicles with a wheelbase between 3000mm and 3800mm, which makes it easily adaptable to various segments.
The platform can support batteries between 73 and 120kWh, which can supply a driving range of up to 695km and have ultra-fast charging capabilities.
LEVC says the new architecture can support front-, rear-, or all-wheel drive powertrains.
An additional feature of the platform will be the company’s L-OS software which has been developed for use across multiple applications.
The L-OS system allows for up to Level 4 autonomous driving capabilities, along with features such as fully-digital cockpits for drivers.
LEVC promises the interior of vehicles on this platform can be optimised for ultimate comfort, with multiple seating configurations available – all of which are easily adjustable thanks to tracks running along the floor.
Space inside the vehicle has been a fundamental focus for the platform. The battery is centrally-located which allows for a flat floor, while its powertrain components are at the front to allow for additional space within the cabin.
Over-the-air updates will be available for vehicles underpinned by the SOA architecture. This will allow for on-going improvements.
This architecture allows the company to introduce the LEVC brand into multiple segments while reducing costs on development.
LEVC and Geely have opened the technology and design to other companies in an effort to make sustainability more easily accessible.
The UK-based LEVC company has been involved in the manufacturing of London taxis since 1908.
After changing names and acquiring several different companies, in 1985 it became London Taxis International.
In 2006, company announced its joint venture with Geely to build a factory in Shanghai that would produce taxis for international markets beyond the UK, including China.
Later in 2013 after holding a 20 per cent stake in the business, Geely took ownership of the English-based manufacturer.
Fast forward to 2017, and the London Electric Vehicle Company name was born. It now has plans to focus its efforts on electric vehicles.