LEVC enters the space race with the new L380

 Published 8th January 2024
Electric Vehicles  New Launches 

There may be a few of you who have never heard of LEVC. It stands for London Electric Vehicle Company and it’s a subsidiary of Chinese car giant, Geely. Until now the Coventry-based manufacturer was responsible for the electrification of the iconic London black cab but it’s now branching out. Not into space - slightly misleading headline aside - but into the world of the MPV with the recently announced LEVC L380.

The L380 represents the first of a new range of innovative, spacious, fully electric models, which will see the brand accelerate its transition from a high-end taxi manufacturer to a leading provider of EVs.

The name of the LEVC L380 supposedly comes from the world's largest passenger aircraft, the Airbus A380 wide-body airliner. Some of the design details are also inspired by the plane’s fuselage, probably to reflect the aerodynamic efficiency of an aeroplane as well as the idea of a spacious and comfortable interior.

When the L380 becomes available to lease, there will be the choice of both a 3-row, 6-seat version, and a 4-row, 8-seater, so you can imagine how much space you’ll be getting in the luxurious and highly-flexible cabin.

Built on Geely’s state-of-the-art new EV platform, Space Oriented Architecture (SOA) – hence the space race reference – the L380 e-MPV will be the first model underpinned by this new technology. It’s claimed the new platform offers significant advances in range, efficiency, safety, charging time, durability, and connectivity.

Unfortunately, we don’t know very much about it yet. The L380 will initially launch in China at some point this year before it makes its way to other markets. Until then we won’t be able to confirm any of the technical details or specifications.

That being said, there are a few hints as to what to expect when this brand-new MPV does arrive. A quick trawl through some of the Chinese media outlets suggests that there are a few journalists who may have been given a sneaky insight into the basics.

The 5.3 m-long LEVC L380 is likely to be powered by a single 270bhp electric motor and a nickel-cobalt-manganate battery pack. The entry-level model's battery pack is rumoured to have a capacity of 73 kWh with the top-level model's battery having a capacity of 120 kWh. If that is the case, the range of the L380 could be around 370 miles, which is more than reasonable for an EV capable of carrying up to eight people.

Charging times for the battery are likely to be around 30 minutes to go from 10% to 80%, with some suggestions it could be possible to add 120 miles of range in around 10 minutes.

The results remain to be seen, but by building on the experience of producing all those black cabs, LEVC is planning to make the new L380 a benchmark for luxury fully-electric MPVs. Given the fact the Chinese car industry is rapidly becoming the global leader in EV technology and production, we wouldn’t put it past them to have created a game-changing model with the LEVC L380.

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