Wednesday 19 February 2020 5:43 pm

London Black Cab maker targets export market as it moves beyond e-taxi sales

The company behind the new generation of black cabs is planning to move beyond its core product.

London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) will launch a new electric van later this year to diversity its product base.

The company, owned by China’s Geely group, is best known for producing London’s electric black cabs.

Read more: London’s new low emission black cabs will be made in Coventry with £250m Chinese investment from owner Geely

LEVC boss Joerg Hofmann said: “It’s very difficult to have a business model that is sustainable.”

Although LEVC doubled its 2018 sales to 2500 vehicles in 2019, Hofmann said: “LEVC has to get out of a niche.”

To break into the mainstream Hofmann said the company is on track to head into new markets with new products.

Until now, 90 per cent of the company’s sales have been in the UK but it wants 60 per cent of their sales to be exports by 2022.

LEVC recently opened a sales office in Frankfurt and has already sold vehicles in across Europe.

It is planning expansion to Asia-Pacific and the Middle East later this year.

Read more: Coronavirus hits production at Nissan’s Japanese plants

Its new models will include a shuttle taxi as well as the new electric van, which the company hopes to sell to delivery companies.

With a pure electric range of 80 miles, the vehicle will have the range to go from a city centre to a distribution centre and back.

The vehicle will have a petrol engine as well for back-up.

The latter will launch before Christmas.

Separately, Hofmann said LEVC is unaffected by the coronavirus though they are monitoring the situation.