LEVC, the manufacturer of London's famous black cabs, has begun previewing the model, codenamed L380.
(A filing image of LEVC's first MPV model in China.)
Geely unit London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) will launch an all-electric MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle) in China, which is bound to make the competition in this niche market more intense.
LEVC's all-electric MPV will be released in early 2024, local automotive media Yiche reported today, citing the company.
LEVC is the well-known manufacturer of black cabs in London and is one of the brands controlled by Geely alongside Lotus, Zeekr, Volvo and Polestar.
LEVC has already started previewing the MPV on Chinese social media earlier this month, calling the model's codename L380, drawing analogies to the Airbus A380 to highlight its large interior space.
The L380 will be the first model to be built based on the Space Oriented Architecture (SOA), LEVC's large electric vehicle platform for buses and vans unveiled in May 2023.
The platform was developed over a two-and-a-half-year period by teams in China, Sweden, the UK and Germany, LEVC said at the time.
Earlier this month, the L380 entered a catalog of models that will soon be allowed to be sold in China by the country's industrial regulator, clearing the final regulatory process for its launch in the country.
The model will be available in eight-seat and six-seat versions, with length, width and heights of 5,316 mm, 1,998 mm and 1,940 mm, respectively, and a wheelbase of 3,185 mm, according to the filing.
For comparison, Zeekr's 009 MPV has a length, width and height of 5,209 mm, 2,024 mm and 1,848 mm respectively and a wheelbase of 3,205 mm.
The L380 is powered by a single motor only, with a maximum power of 200 kw and supports a top speed of 170 kilometers per hour, according to the filing.
LEVC was founded in 1908. In 2006, Geely acquired a 20 percent stake in it and in 2013 it became wholly owned by the Chinese auto giant.
MPVs are a niche market in China, selling only one-tenth as many as traditional sedans or SUVs.
In October, China sold 933,454 sedans and 1,005,882 SUVs, contributing 45.94 percent and 49.51 percent of passenger car sales, respectively, according to the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA).
MPVs sold 92,473 units in October, contributing only 4.55 percent of passenger car sales.
But it's worth noting that the market's space is expected to be enlarged as more players join the market.
Nio (NYSE: NIO) will not launch an MPV model based on its current Nio Technology 2.0 (NT 2.0) platform, but has plans for an MPV model on the company's third-generation NT 3.0 platform, its management said last month.