With timber frames and designs seemingly unchanged since the 1930s, there are not many cars that scream ‘tradition’ more than a Morgan. You might therefore be surprised to find that this most quintessentially English of all car manufacturers is at the cutting edge of the green revolution.
Morgan revived its iconic three-wheeler a few years ago, while last year it took the wraps off a prototype electric version with battery power in place of the usual V-twin petrol engine. At this year’s Geneva Motor Show, it unveiled a production version that you will be able to buy before the end of 2016.
Looking like something out of a Flash Gordon comic, the EV3 takes its styling cues from the 1933 Napier-Railton racing car. It takes advantage of the different rules governing three-wheelers to have just a single offset headlamp, while below this is a set of brass fins that help cool the battery. These features add to the retro sci-fi look.
Before you rush out to look for car credit in Portsmouth to buy one of these, you need to know that the EV3 has batteries at the front and an electric motor at the rear to give it optimum weight distribution. It also weighs less than its petrol-powered cousin and performance should certainly be electrifying.
The weight is kept down by making some parts, such as the bonnet and tonneau cover, from carbon fibre.
The EV3 uses lithium-ion batteries holding 20kWh of energy, which Morgan says should deliver a 150-mile range. In comparison, a BMW i3 holds 22kWh but will only manage around 80 miles of range, as it is bigger and heavier. To put a full charge into the EV3 from a standard 13-amp socket should take around seven hours, which is obviously quicker from a high output charger. Charge and other information is displayed to the driver on a screen designed to fit with the ’30s look.
Acceleration from 0-62mph should take less than nine seconds, which is more than the six seconds delivered by the petrol Morgan but still a respectable performance. Maximum speed should be around 90mph.
There is another Morgan tradition, which is a waiting list to buy one. If the EV3 has whetted your appetite, act now.