After two years during which we have faced unprecedented challenges and disruptions due to the once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, we are optimistic we have overcome the worst and finally reached the post-Covid phase.
Certainly, for LEVC, the outlook is positive. As major cities come back to life with workers returning to offices and tourism increasing, we are seeing the taxi trade recover, driving interest in the TX. At the same time, demand remains strong across the UK and Europe for electric commercial vehicles such as our VN5.
This has been reflected in healthy sales in the year-to-date, with our total for January and February nearly seven per cent ahead of our projected figure. I’m optimistic this trend will continue which means we are on track to have our best ever first quarter in the history of LEVC.
The TX, in particular, is performing well, with more than 6,000 sold globally. London, historically, remains its biggest market, and we will soon reach the notable milestone of having 5,000 on the road in the capital – over 30 per cent of the entire black cab fleet. As a British brand, I am proud that we are making such a major contribution to improving air quality in the capital city.
The VN5 will also play a key role in driving down emissions, and is redefining what is expected from an electrified van, with its eCity technology ensuring no range anxiety. We recently entered into a partnership with rental provider Europcar to supply a fleet of 100 VN5s, a great deal that will allow many businesses to experience the innovation of the VN5 before they buy. Our well-established UK dealer network of 12 independent partners, plus our own retail subsidiary in London Brewery Road, ensures the best service for our customers.
Europe continues to present a major opportunity for LEVC with a total market of 600,000 light vans sold annually, most of which are currently petrol or diesel, and I am pleased to report we are building momentum throughout the continent.
Early this year we appointed ABVV Group as our first dealer in France, and its location in Paris will complement the fleet of 300 TX taxis that have been in operation there since 2019. We’ve also expanded our presence elsewhere, with the opening of two new dealers in Sweden (Kalmar and Växjö) and one in Belgium’s capital city, Brussels. With three new dealers appointed in February, in Bilbao, Malaga and Valencia, our reach across Spain is more extensive than ever.
It was also great to welcome Spanos SA as our official importer in Greece in January. LEVC’s TX and VN5 are ideally suited to the transportation and sustainability needs of customers across Greece, where electric charging infrastructure is limited, LEVC’s eCity technology enables customers to select an electrified van or taxi for the first time knowing the TX and VN5 can deliver the required range between charges.
Our main market on the continent remains Germany with a sales and service network of 14 LEVC partners. Many public transport companies there use our TX as an emission free, wheelchair-accessible shuttle for on-demand services.
Furthermore, we are expanding our footprint overseas, and it has been pleasing for us to establish our presence in Israel over the past few months, having partnered with EV Motors in August, which has already imported a significant number of TX and VN5 vehicles.
It’s an exciting and unique period of change for the automotive industry, and with our global network expanding and new product on the way, LEVC is well placed to grow and be a major contributor to electric vehicle transition.