Sick of Electric Cars? Morgan Green-lights Production of One You Might Not Hate

sick of electric cars morgan green lights production of one you might not hate

To some, the only thing that beats electric vehicles for soullessness is those pesky autonomous vehicle people who can’t drive adore so much. Morgan, the quirky British automaker best known for giving wood construction and wire-spoke wheels an automotive toehold in the 21st century, doesn’t do soulless.

Surely the company’s EV3, now confirmed for production next year, warrants a look. This isn’t your average Leaf, Bolt, or Model S.

Morgan first unveiled the EV3 in the spring of 2016. Since the debut of that prototype, Morgan found a technology partner in Frazer-Nash Energy Systems, allowing the storied automaker to deliver performance specs above and beyond its early estimates. With everything now in place, this fully electric version of the company’s gas-powered 3-Wheeler model is a go for third-quarter 2018 production.

From the outside, the design appears little different from the earlier prototype, harkening back to the company’s Super Sports offerings from the 1920s and 30s (though minus the external V-twin engine). Morgan assures us there’s plenty of changes afoot. New architecture and a stiffer tubular chassis hide a 21 kWh battery pack slung below the floor. Power comes by way of a liquid-cooled 34.8 kW electric motor driving a single rear wheel, just as those early British tax dodgers intended.

Thanks to Frazer-Nash, itself a former automotive nameplate, the Morgan EV3 is fast-charge capable, with a top speed of 115 miles per hour and a range of 120 miles. It should make the sprint to 60 mph in six seconds.

The company promises the EV3’s select buyers a “hands-on, exhilarating driving experience that has not previously been associated with electric vehicles.”

Despite its decidedly retro (archaic? Antiquated? Steampunk?) exterior, Morgan claims the EV3 is the first car in its history to use composite panels. Don’t worry, it’s still built by hand in the automaker’s Pickersleigh Road, UK, factory. Meaning, of course, very limited volume. This is the type of vehicle purchase that requires an order form, which buyers, including those in the U.S., can find on the company’s website.

Never mind Tesla’s promise of a new Roadster (arriving eventually, but pony up that quarter mil first). Exposed wheels, suspension, and linkages, wire spokes, a single seat, no roof or pillars, and not much car between you and the road makes this futuristic throwback the true driver’s machine. Even if it is electric.

Pricing has not yet been announced.

[Images: Morgan Cars USA]

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  • SlowMyke SlowMyke on Dec 20, 2017

    Man, I'd love to have a Morgan 3, EV or otherwise. I think they look great and would be a perfect weekend car/thing.

  • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Dec 21, 2017

    Curious...as electrics have become the preferred means to signal how much you care to the world, is driving a Prius the automotive equivalent of being on MySpace?

  • Sgeffe Bronco looks with JLR “reliability!”What’s not to like?!
  • FreedMike Back in the '70s, the one thing keeping consumers from buying more Datsuns was styling - these guys were bringing over some of the ugliest product imaginable. Remember the F10? As hard as I try to blot that rolling aberration from my memory, it comes back. So the name change to Nissan made sense, and happened right as they started bringing over good-looking product (like the Maxima that will be featured in this series). They made a pretty clean break.
  • Flowerplough Liability - Autonomous vehicles must be programmed to make life-ending decisions, and who wants to risk that? Hit the moose or dive into the steep grassy ditch? Ram the sudden pile up that is occurring mere feet in front of the bumper or scan the oncoming lane and swing left? Ram the rogue machine that suddenly swung into my lane, head on, or hop up onto the sidewalk and maybe bump a pedestrian? With no driver involved, Ford/Volkswagen or GM or whomever will bear full responsibility and, in America, be ambulance-chaser sued into bankruptcy and extinction in well under a decade. Or maybe the yuge corporations will get special, good-faith, immunity laws, nation-wide? Yeah, that's the ticket.
  • FreedMike It's not that consumers wouldn't want this tech in theory - I think they would. Honestly, the idea of a car that can take over the truly tedious driving stuff that drives me bonkers - like sitting in traffic - appeals to me. But there's no way I'd put my property and my life in the hands of tech that's clearly not ready for prime time, and neither would the majority of other drivers. If they want this tech to sell, they need to get it right.
  • TitaniumZ Of course they are starting to "sour" on the idea. That's what happens when cars start to drive better than people. Humanpilots mostly suck and make bad decisions.
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