THE NEXT GENERATION TAXI
The LEVC TX project was born out of the T001 van concept previously developed by Emerald Automotive and Avant. The technology behind the Emerald van became of interest to Geely, the owners of LEVC - this was to form the basis for the new generation of purpose-built electric taxis.
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The original concept for the TX was crafted in Geely's Barcelona studio. It was there that Jonathan met with David Ancona and discussed the production development programme. The project was managed for LEVC by Emerald Automotive based in Coventry and Avant was contracted to manage the production design for both exterior and interior. Working alongside a large team of engineers, the initial concept was realised in a full-scale clay model. The specific London and DDA regulations resulted in many challenges, causing the design to evolve to accommodate features such as disabled access, six seats, and the very latest crash performance. All of the design development was realised in the physical world with Avant working the clay himself.
Avant's team of Alias Surfaces supported the full exterior and interior design, delivering final 'A' class data to the engineering team. Avant's ongoing role was to ensure the design integrity was maintained through to SOP.
One key aspect of the taxi was to retain its iconic DNA - to craft something which could build on the Black Cab’s long history and comfortably sit in today’s urban environment, whilst offering the latest automotive design features and environmental powertrain technology.
LEVC's plans always included platform variants and VN5 was the first to be completed. This one-tonne van was aimed at a new commercial vehicle segment where, in cities such as London, zero emissions were to become the future for urban delivery. VN5 owes much of its architecture to TX and also carries the TX front end identity, however rearwards of this it is an all-new design created by Avant
The VN5 programme followed the same development process as employed for the TX and this design was also handcrafted in clay by Avant. Elements of the interior were redesigned to meet the different operational requirements of a van compared to the office-like duties and people carrying requirements of the Taxi.
In an effort to broaden the appeal of the VN5, LEVC began the development of a Camper variant, named E-Camper. Design-wise, it shared a large amount with the VN5, but the package was specially optimised to provide competitive levels of comfort. For the launch of the product, Avant was tasked with generating all visual material for the release to the press