The past meets the future with the all-new retro classic Morris JE electric van!
Anyone who has owned a classic car will know that getting a head-turner capable of putting smiles on people’s faces hides the turmoil and frustration of actually keeping a classic automobile on the road; hours of working on freezing metal in all sots of inclement weather, as well as wondering why ‘old’ metal seems to rust so easily and trying not to notice how much of a money drain it all is.
The perfect solution, of course, is to have a retro vehicle with a modern heart; either a complete professional restoration (prohibitively expensive) or a vehicle that is modern, but looks retro.
Nissan Japan was good at this sort of thing back in the early nineties, with the still popular Figaro (based on a Micra platform) and the somewhat more divisive S-Cargo (say it out loud while looking at the vehicle’s profile…). Vespa too has embraced its classic scooter history with retro models like the Revival.
It’s nice to see a new vehicle appear that meets all the classic and retro trigger points that tend to make us smile in appreciation; the Morris JE is a UK built electric van that could become an inner city flower shop’s dream.
The Morris JE might at first glance look like a beautifully restored classic van from the fifties, but there is far more to this than meets the eye. That eye-catching body is carbon-fibre for a start – no fears of cold winters applying rust proofing to this vehicle.
The original Morris Commercial J-Type dates back to 1949, and it continued in its various forms to be in production right up until 1961. You will still sometimes find restored J-Types displayed at various classic car shows and meets up and down the country.
The all-new Morris Commercial Ltd announced itself to the world in 2017, along with the intention to resurrect the Morris Commercial J-Type as an electric van with a range of around 120 miles and a top speed of around 90mph. A reimagining of the original model, Morris Commercial Ltd said.
The Morris JE is not just for show either; with a load space consisting of 5.5 cubic metres, the fully electric van can carry a payload of 1 tonne and is designed to comfortably receive a couple of standard European size pallets.
To make loading and unloading easier, this retro EV van has full-width rear opening doors and a sliding side door too. Weight matters with commercial vehicles and Morris Commercial claim that this will be one of the lightest commercial vans in the UK marketplace.
Inside, a modern infotainment system is in place, and the van also incorporates a built-in navigation system and parking cameras. The van will also incorporate ‘legally permitted level of autonomous driving technology’ Morris Commercial Ltd said.
Battery technology has moved on rapidly in the past few years, and the Morris JE will now be expected to have a range of around 200 miles – just flip down the iconic Morris J-Type pear-shaped grill to access the charging port – 80 per cent of full charge is attainable within 30 minutes.
The modular chassis that the Morris JE van is built on will allow for some interesting deviations too, and Morris Commercial Ltd says that pickup and minibus versions will follow. Perhaps the only thing that might remove the smile from a potential buyer’s face will be the price: although nothing has yet been confirmed, rumours suggest that the Morris JE electric van will retail at around £60,000.
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