London Hire places order for mix of M1 and M2 variants; expects longer life than comparable diesel
GM Coachwork and LDV have worked together to deliver a lightweight battery-electric minibus that has a usable 100-mile range.
Based on the EV80, the first to be completed is for London Hire and is an M1 variant. It can carry up to eight seated passengers or three wheelchair users and it has a PLS wheelchair lift that recaptures energy when lowered.
London Hire has ordered 12 EV80 minibuses, a mix of M1 and M2s. The larger version will carry up to 13 passengers. While battery capacity remains the same in both variants, their unladen weight is similar and so the 100-mile range is common.
GM Coachwork has done its part to keep mass down. A composite floor is complemented by a lightweight Cogent seat.
“We collaborated with GM Coachwork because it has decades of experience in lightweight conversions,” says London Hire Sales Director Peter Moxom. “The weight of an electric vehicle is very important as it directly relates to the achievable range.”
A rapid charge is possible within 90 minutes and overnight replenishment takes around seven hours, adds Mr Moxom. As London Hire’s customers cover low mileages, he expects that a recharge will not be necessary every day. That will allow fewer chargers than vehicles to be purchased.
“I see this as a minibus with a life of up to 10 years because it is a simple product. There is less to maintain than in a diesel. We feel duty-bound to offer an electric product. We received many enquiries from customers, but we have been searching for the right one for a long time. I expect us to add more zero-emission models to our range as the technology develops.”
The first EV80 converted by GM has a low roof. Subsequent examples will come with more headroom.