The first prototypes of an electric electric van have been unveiled at the British Leyland Vehicle Technologies Centre (LEVC) near Coventry, central England.

The VanFirst Trucklet is one of the latest models in the LEVC range. It has a lithium ion battery which can be fully charged in four hours by plugging into a standard 120V charger. It has a range of 300km.

The LEVC is working with General Motors to create the limited run of electric vans to be built at the plant, likely to run between 2019 and 2021. An order of 200 vans is expected to be handed out for testing by mid-2018.

Dave Bailey, director of manufacturing and logistics, said: “In five years, electric cars will be mainstream. The objective for us is to build the van at LEVC as quickly as possible. By the time they are ready to come out in a volume way, there will be over 1m pure electric cars being sold globally each year.”

Many more electric van projects are being rolled out. Carlos Ghosn, chief executive of Renault and Nissan, is planning to have an all-electric version of his brand’s Vito estate available in 2019. Three later generations of the Renault Tayto in the Netherlands – a new version of which, named in honour of Vietnam and produced jointly by Nissan and its former owner Renault, is also due in 2019 – are scheduled to join the market in the longer term.