J-Type-inspired electric van to launch in 2021 with a 200-mile range
Julian Rendell
13 November 2019

The Morris Commercial JE, an electric van with a 1940s design, has been unveiled ahead of a planned launch in 2021.

Revived thanks to unnamed UK and European financial backing, Morris Commercial’s first production model since the 1960s has a 200-mile range, a 1000kg payload and a 2.5-tonne gross weight.

It'll be priced from £60,000 and set to be built in the UK at an undisclosed location, with the design an engineering taking place in a facility in Worcestershire. 

The van is new from the ground up, sitting on a new modular platform and featuring a 60kWh lithium ion powertrain said to endow it with a “power-to-weight efficiency that fully maximises the range of the vehicle”. It can fast charge to 80% in 30 minutes. 

Morris Commercial will be an electric-only brand that uses a powertrain claimed to be “UK-sourced”. “We will never make a vehicle with an internal combustion engine,” said the company.

This puts it in a different market segment to Geely-owned taxi maker LEVC, whose range-extender powertrain and chassis are being used for a cargo van variant.

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Morris says further variants, such as a pick-up truck, minibus and campervan can be spun-off its modular platform. The JE’s bodywork is fashioned from lightweight carbonfibre and features a pair of full-width rear doors and a sliding door on the nearside.

In the load bay are claimed to be 5.5 cubic metres of volume and a flat floor with sufficient area for two pallets. Morris is expected to reveal further specification details at an event later today, but it claims in advance that the JE is “one of the lightest LCVs in the marketplace”.

The major selling point for the JE will be its retro styling, derived from the Morris J-Type, sold from 1949 until 1961 and achieving total production close to 50,000 units.

Morris Commercial ranks it alongside the Mini, Morris Minor and Land Rover Defender as a “truly iconic post-war British automotive design”.

In period, it was as familiar a sight on UK roads as the Ford Transit is today, and Morris hopes that its retro styling will have the same appeal of the Volkswagen Transporter Type 2 of similar vintage so loved today.

Retro features incorporated into the JE include a “pear-shaped” grille, a split windscreen and distinctive bulging wheelarches.

CEO and founder Dr Qu Li told Autocar that the production plan is for 1000 units annually for the panel van, with dditional variants adding extra volume. 

"We have had so much interest from large fleets that we might have to reappraise the volume. But that would mean more tooling and more funding".

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Comments
17

13 November 2019

Brexit Britain doesn't need your class leading vehicles manufactured in our great nation Mr Musk !

this new Morris takes us back to a time when we were great & still repaying massive loans to the States. It will have features us  Brits love - unreliability so we can admire the nature of Britain's roadsides, no air con - we don't live in a hot nasty foreign land , big payload for that curiously British pastime of dogging 

 

13 November 2019
Bolida wrote:

Brexit Britain doesn't need your class leading vehicles manufactured in our great nation Mr Musk !

this new Morris takes us back to a time when we were great & still repaying massive loans to the States. It will have features us  Brits love - unreliability so we can admire the nature of Britain's roadsides, no air con - we don't live in a hot nasty foreign land , big payload for that curiously British pastime of dogging 

 

 

Sorry to inform you but most of the TESLA engineering team are British, we are always willing to save you when you most need it...

13 November 2019
supercarrambler wrote:

Bolida wrote:

Brexit Britain doesn't need your class leading vehicles manufactured in our great nation Mr Musk !

this new Morris takes us back to a time when we were great & still repaying massive loans to the States. It will have features us  Brits love - unreliability so we can admire the nature of Britain's roadsides, no air con - we don't live in a hot nasty foreign land , big payload for that curiously British pastime of dogging 

 

 

Sorry to inform you but most of the TESLA engineering team are British, we are always willing to save you when you most need it...

save me from what exactly ? 

13 November 2019

@Bolida can't you just take the good news without a Brexit reference?

MrJ

14 November 2019

Tesla cars are excellent, as a drive in a Model S or 3 will prove, so no need to knock the brand.

This Morris is also a joy, though obviously aimed at a different market. Great that the new company is based in Worcestershire, and that the promo pix are local too - in handsome Broadway, not too far from my part of the Cotswolds.

13 November 2019

I love this! Then I seen the price. And the weight. Ouch!

13 November 2019

Can we have an electric bus that looks like a Bedford OB or SB?

13 November 2019

Don't really understand this obsession with retro. Can't we look forward FFS? 

13 November 2019

Nope.

The retro revolution starts here. Welcome I say. Just a shame JLR's design team didn't pick up on it.

MrJ

14 November 2019

Surely the market is big enough for new, old, and retro?

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