First EV80S here in May

New Zealand LCV - - COMMERCIAL MARKET | VAN SALES - BY MIKE STOCK

LDV will de­liver the first EV80 all-elec­tric vans to New Zealand cus­tomers in May.

Though LDV New Zealand hasn’t re­vealed de­tails of cus­tomers, gov­ern­ment de­part­ments and agen­cies and lo­cal bod­ies are ex­pected to be among them.

LDV’S War­ren Will­mot says the com­pany has sev­eral or­ders for the $80,000 vans, and some will be con­verted into minibuses.

Auck­land-based ve­hi­cle fit-out spe­cial­ist Jack­son En­ter­prises has de­vel­oped a stressed floor to al­low minibus seats to be at­tached with­out com­pro­mis­ing the bat­tery which is un­der the van’s cargo area floor. An­other EV80 van is be­ing con­verted lo­cally into a mo­torhome. LDV will also of­fer a cab/chas­sis ver­sion which sells for $75,000. Both the van and the cab/chas­sis ride on a 3850mm wheel­base.

The EV80 is a stan­dard long-wheel­base, mid-roofed V80 van with the 2.5-litre diesel in­line four cylin­der mo­tor re­placed by an elec­tric one.

It looks the same from the out­side, it has the same cargo di­men­sions: the load­space will hold around 10 cu­bic me­tres and the van can carry a 950kg pay­load.

Aside from top speed which is 100km/h, it has ball­park per­for­mance with its oil-burn­ing sta­ble­mate.

In a brief drive of an EV80, we dis­cov­ered that, dy­nam­i­cally, it’s a very dif­fer­ent ve­hi­cle to the diesel van. Gone is the gear­box – man­ual or au­to­mated man­ual – of the oil-burn­ing V80.

In its place in the EV80 is a con­tin­u­ously-vari­able trans­mis­sion (CVT). You sim­ply se­lect for­ward or re­verse, prod the throt­tle and the van starts to move. It’s all a lit­tle eerie and takes some get­ting used to.

Above: First LDV EV80 de­liv­er­ies will be made to lo­cal cus­tomers in May.

Be­low: Charg­ing point on EV80. Van can be re-charged on do­mes­tic power sup­ply or fast-charg­ing sta­tions.

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