LDV has returned to the UK with a range of models including an all-electric green van that promises a 215-mile range, combined with city-friendly zero local emissions. There’s also a surprise all-new MPV that claims input from Lotus.
China’s first all-electric van, the LDV EV80 will launch later this year as the flagship of the reborn LDV range of vans, following its debut at the Commercial Vehicle Show currently underway in Birmingham.
Now owned by China’s SAIC Maxus, the LDV brand collapsed in Britain back in late 2008. It was the last remaining part of the once-great Leyland company, although by then the brand was owned by the Russian GAZ group.
A rescue attempt failed and SAIC acquired the dormant brand in 2010 – and has since restarted production of the familiar LDV Maxus, now called the LDV V80.
It’s the V80 that’s been converted to a full EV, packing a lithium-ion phosphate battery capacity of up to 75 KWh, plus a choice of short- and long-wheelbase panel van configurations and a custom-built chassis cab option.
LDV says the EV80 can be fully recharged in around two hours – faster than rivals such as the Nissan e-NV200 – while other technical specifications are among the most advanced of any commercial vehicle in the world.
Mark Barrett, general manager of LDV UK & Ireland, said: I think it’s safe to say that LDV has demonstrated just how obtainable the future is for a commercial EV vehicle, following today’s EV80 reveal.”
The LDV MPV
LDV also revealed the new G10 panel van, powered by a 2.0-litre turbodiesel offered in both manual and automatic guises.
It’s this panel van that’s given windows and other luxuries to create the new LDV G10 MPV. This is powered by a 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine (curiously rated at only 105hp, says the firm) that’s mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox.
Seating five, seven or nine people, the G10 MPV is well equipped with touchscreen infotainment, rear-view camera, cruise control and Bluetooth. It’s only quoted as having two airbags but LDV says prices will be competitive when they’re released later this year.
The most fascinating aspect? No less than Lotus has been involved in calibrating the chassis. Whether this means it will handle like no van-derived people carrier before it remains to be seen…
LDV back in the UK
LDV’s return has generated a “phenomenal” response, said Barrett.
“We are well ahead of our forecasts with almost 40 dealers on board, 11 of whom are in the UK with many more signings imminent in the UK and Ireland.
“I think this is indicative of the strength of the new LDV range and spec and the confidence and trust that the market has in the future of the brand, particularly given SAIC’s investment in LDV, which is set to top $2.9bn by 2020.”
The firm is even offering a carrot to those unsure about rediscovering the LDV brand – a five-year warranty, offering coverage up to 160,000 miles, with five years’ free roadside assistance thrown in for good measure.