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The £75k London taxi e-Camper to ‘protect and enjoy the environment’

London Electric Vehicle Company – the maker of electric black cabs used in the capital and around the UK – has created a campervan in a bid to take advantage of the recent boom in demand.

It says the e-Camper is ‘designed for those who want to both protect and enjoy the outdoor environment’ – though it will also do plenty of damage to a bank account, costing from £74,700 in the UK.

The new pop-up roof model, which sleeps four, is powered by a 31kWh battery and electric motor that provide up to 60.9 miles of zero emission travel. However, it also has a three-cylinder petrol engine that, once the battery is depleted, continues to supply power to the electric motors driving the wheels.

It means the LEVC e-Camper can cover a total of 304 miles with a fully charged battery and brimmed fuel tank.

Green getaway: This is Londen Electric Vehicle Company’s new e-Camper – a range-extending campervan that can cover almost 61 miles on electric-only mode

First deliveries of LEVC’s e-Camper are due in December, meaning it will come too late for this summer’s staycations.

However, it will arrive ahead of rivals, like the electric-only Volkswagen ID Buzz, which is due in 2022.

LEVC says it is ‘the perfect way to explore the great outdoors with the benefit of low environmental impact’. 

The e-Camper is based on the LEVC VN5 electric van and TX taxi produced at the firm’s Coventry factory, using the same range-extender drivetrain.

However, the conversion to a campervan won’t be completed in-house – instead it will be modified into a mobile home on wheels by conversion specialist, Wellhouse Leisure.

The e-Camper is based on LEVC’s VN5 electric van, which in turn is converted from the TX taxi. It maintains styling cues from the classic black-cab design and retains the TX’s hybrid powertrain, which features an electric motor and battery that are aided by a three-cylinder petrol engine.

The e-Camper has a small 3-cylinder petrol engine supplementing a 31kWh battery and electric motors that power the wheels. Once the battery is used up, the engine is used as an onboard generator for the motors. This gives a full range capacity of 304 miles

The e-Camper has a small 3-cylinder petrol engine supplementing a 31kWh battery and electric motors that power the wheels. Once the battery is used up, the engine is used as an onboard generator for the motors. This gives a full range capacity of 304 miles

The front seats can be rotated 180 degrees to provide a living-room-style setup once you reach you destination. These rear seats fold down into a double bed, and the extending roof has a sliding floor to provide space for two people to sleep in the raised section

The front seats can be rotated 180 degrees to provide a living-room-style setup once you reach you destination. These rear seats fold down into a double bed, and the extending roof has a sliding floor to provide space for two people to sleep in the raised section

Inside, the rear section of the cabin includes an electric kitchenette, a folding table and a second-row bench seat that folds into a bed. 

Like most conventional campers already on the market – such as the best-selling VW California – it will also feature a pop-up roof to provide additional sleeping quarters for another two adults.

The front seats can be rotated 180 degrees to provide a living-room-style set-up once you reach you destination and LEVC is offering it with a choice of racks for those who want to take their bicycles or surf boards with them.

The company behind it says one of the benefits of using the TX5 taxi platform is the incredible small turning circle, which is class-leading for the e-Camper. It means owners will easily be able to manoeuvre it when they arrive at a campsite. 

The e-Camper is based on LEVC's plug-in TX5 taxi, which is being used by cabbies in London

The e-Camper is based on LEVC’s plug-in TX5 taxi, which is being used by cabbies in London

It also shares its platform with LEVC's VN5 van - the award-winning plug-in commercial vehicle produced by the manufacturer based in Coventry

It also shares its platform with LEVC’s VN5 van – the award-winning plug-in commercial vehicle produced by the manufacturer based in Coventry

Commenting on the arrival of the electrified camper. Joerg Hofmann, CEO of LEVC, said: ‘The campervan market is growing rapidly and, despite these vehicles being used for coastal and countryside adventures which often include national parks and protected areas, they are still powered by petrol or diesel engines. 

‘This is a major conflict; we can see a shift in consumer attitudes, with demand for greener mobility solutions to help to protect and improve air quality. 

‘Our new electric, zero-emissions capable e-Camper offers the perfect solution and is well-equipped with high quality features that can be tailored to meet a range of customer requirements.’

Costing almost £75,000, it’s £20,000 more than the most affordable VW California and around £8,500 more than the top-of-the-range California Ocean.

The e-Camper will cost around the same as Volkswagen’s larger Grand California 600 (£74,711) and a fraction less than the hulking Grand California 680 (£77,230). 

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