Why London EV Company’s New Platform Is Important

bond street taxis in london
Why London EV Company’s New Platform Is ImportantMike Kemp - Getty Images
  • London Electric Vehicle Company is set to expand its offerings, with its new Space Oriented Architecture battery-electric platform expected to launch soon.

  • With various sizes, battery capacities, and the ability for front-, rear-, or all-wheel drive, the SOA platform will showcase a new range of electrified midsize crossovers and full-size delivery vans.

  • Shared development costs with parent company Geely and the goal of urban, accessible vehicle solutions could make LEVC a formidable competitor in the global EV market.

Electric taxis have overtaken diesel cabs in London, with over 6000 electrified versions of the classic black box models rolling around the United Kingdom's capital. Following Transport for London’s 2018 rules requiring all new cabs to be “zero emissions capable,” these battery-electric hackney carriages have now driven over 535 million metropolitan miles, with most of these units coming from London Electric Vehicle Company. While these models account for around 40% of the city’s for-hire fleet, the company is now set to expand.

2021 levc vn5
A rendered version of the LEVC hackney carriage as a work van—something the new SOA platform will be optimized for.LEVC

After its success with the purpose-built electric taxi, London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) is launching a group of new battery-electric platforms with the goal of expanding its market share. Owned by Chinese automaker conglomerate Geely, the new LEVC platform will be named Space Oriented Architecture, with four configurable sizes and three battery plus drivetrain options. Additionally, the battery will be in a fully flat floor configuration, as the main focus of the SOA platform is improved passenger comfort or cargo capabilities.


Built around a new rear suspension, SOA platformed vehicles will be able to carry cargo underneath the main luggage area and behind the rear axle. Offered in four separate wheelbase sizes ranging from 118- to 149-inches, low-step heights, and flexible seating capacity will be key to making the new platform competitive, with a maximum four-row setup. For context, the sizing of this platform will range from midsize crossover to full-size Ford Transit van. Additionally, models based on the SOA platform will be available in front-wheel-drive, all-wheel-drive, and rear-wheel-drive configurations.

These platforms will be powered by “a wide choice of state-of-the-art batteries” ranging from 73 kWh, 102 kWh, or 120 kWh, with a claimed 431 miles of maximum range. Like the Volvo EX90 (another Geely product), LEVC’s incoming vehicles will incorporate a strong computer processing core as well as the potential for SAE Level 4 autonomous capability. Over-the-air updates are a prerequisite at this point and will naturally be available for maintenance.

LEVC is also committing to releasing the SOA platform as an open-source design, for other Geely automakers and those outside the company. LEVC says that the SOA platform took around two and a half years to produce, spread across facilities in China, Sweden, the UK, and Germany, which could allow other manufacturers to save on future production costs.

Ultimately, LEVC’s platform launch represents another move toward EV market domination for Geely. With Lotus, Polestar, and Volvo all set for the US market—and a host of international brands in tow—Geely has a good shot at grabbing additional shares of the global EV market. Compared to domestic platforms from General Motors and Stellantis, it’s likely that LEVC’s R&D costs were lower (given the backing from Geely) and its established 20,000 vehicle-potential EV production facilities. Going forward, we can likely expect a range of people-moving, cargo-shipping urban crossovers and vans that are worth keeping an eye on.

the track club
Hearst Owned

Would you consider an electric moving van for your next task? Please share your thoughts below.