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Octopus Energy partners with LEVC for circular real-world trial of electric vans

Image: Octopus Energy.

Image: Octopus Energy.

Octopus Energy has partnered with London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) to provide its engineers with electric vans.

It is the latest company to join LEVC’s real-world testing and trial phase for its electric van, the VN5, joining the likes of Royal Mail and DPD.

The supplier will use the prototypes of the van to install the electric chargers the VN5 itself uses, in what the companies have said is the first ever circular real-world trial of its kind.

Ahead of the official launch of the VN5, and due to the similarities between the two vehicles, Octopus Energy will initially use a VX taxi with a full interior van conversion for the sake of the trial.

Joerg Hofmann, LEVC CEO, said the company was committed to making the commercial vehicle sector a “greener, cleaner business environment and it is great to have Octopus Energy on board for these trials as we have a shared interest in sustainable products and services".

“I’m confident they will enjoy a successful trial phase and look forward to a future partnership with Octopus Energy when VN5 launches later this year.”

The VN5 is due to be launched in Q4 2020, and is based on the same architecture and proven eCity range-extender technology as LEVC’s TX electric taxi. The trial is not the first time LEVC has modified its TX taxi’s, which were also used in a wireless taxi charging project led by Sprint Energy that was launched in January.

Over the next few months, 25 different companies from a range of sectors will trial the prototypes, using them for a variety of activities.

John Szymik, CEO of Octopus Energy Services, said that as a renewable energy provider the company was “passionate” about moving away from fossil fuels.

“This includes the transport sector - one of the largest contributors to CO2 emissions globally,” he continued.

“Transitioning our own fleet to electric vehicles is one of the first steps in our plan to drive the electrification of transport. We’re incredibly excited to be involved with the VN5 trial and will be using the vans to install the very chargers they use, improving green infrastructure across the country and lowering carbon emissions as we do it.”

Octopus Energy is part of the UK Electric Fleets Coalition, which recently called on the government to bring forward the 100% electric vehicle (EV) sales target to 2030. It has been working to expand its role in the EV sector, including launching a charging payment interoperability service under its Electric Juice brand in May and its EV arm Octopus Electric Vehicles revealing a fleet charging bundle in January.

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