First revealed at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last summer in prototype form, the EV3 is designed to attract younger customers to the traditionalist Morgan brand while also paving the way for future hybrid and electric versions of its existing road cars.
The EV3 is based on the Morgan 3 Wheeler and will be the first production electric vehicle to come from the Malvern-based manufacturer. Morgan’s first foray into electric vehicles was with 2011’s Plus E concept car, but that model was judged to be too heavy and sacrificed driving experience and performance.
Key to the EV3’s success will be its weight. In prototype form, the ‘Phase 1’ EV3 weighs 470kg, a significant reduction from the 525kg of the standard 3 Wheeler. Power comes from an electric motor mounted at the rear, replacing the 3 Wheeler’s 2.0-litre V-twin engine.
The electric motor has been developed by Potenza and produces 75bhp and 96lb ft. Its top speed is rated at 100mph, with the 0-60mph sprint taking 8.5sec. The lithium ion battery pack is said to provide a range of up to 150 miles, with a full recharge taking four hours. Importantly, those figures are all set to be improved with the final car.
The car shown at Goodwood was, according to design director Jonathan Wells, a fully working prototype, but did not feature the styling of the final car - something Wells describes as taking inspiration from the time-travelling Delorean featured in the Back to the Future film series.
Speaking to Autocar, Wells said that drivers of the regular 3 Wheeler could easily adapt to the EV3: “You adapt to the noise of the wind and the sensation in place of the engine, and it’s exhilarating and impressive in different ways, not least because of the acceleration. The weight distribution is similar so it’s very familiar to handle, and you can disturb the rear wheel in a corner.”
Morgan already has 10 customers in the UK and Holland lined up to buy the 'Phase 2' vehicles which will be shown in Geneva. Production of the final cars, modified to production specification using feedback from those customers, is set to get under way in the summer, with Morgan planning to make one car per week.
Production of the EV3 is being supported by the Niche Vehicle Network, a group of 400 low-volume manufacturers and suppliers that help to bring projects which would otherwise be impossible to make in-house to life.
Announcing the car, Morgan managing director Steve Morris said: “Looking firmly to the future, the production intent EV3 is arguably the most exciting electric car in the world and our first production electric vehicle.”