The acclaimed English car company Morgan has confirmed plans to build an electric version of the original 3-wheel, 2-seat Henry Frederick Stanley (HFS) Runabout thanks to an a £6 million ($8.5 million) grant from the UK’s Advanced Propulsion Center.
The EV3 is expected to go into small-scale production later this year, 106 years after Henry Morgan designed the original HFS Runabout, which went on to become one of the most successful lightweight cars of the early motoring days.
The Runabout’s success was the result of clever design where a powerful motorcycle engine and simple transmission was fitted to a lightweight chassis and body.
This meant drivers of more modest means could afford the freedom of the open road and the Runabout was in high demand and at the forefront of the mass production of automobiles.
Echoing the beginnings of the original Runabout, the Morgan ethos continues into the electric EV3 of the future with each vehicle being coach built and subjected to ongoing development. Current safety standards are high on the agenda along with the thoroughbred performance that underpins the Morgan name.
The grant, which was announced recently by the UK’s business secretary Sajid Javid, will also fund the development of a plug-in hybrid and electric powertrains which will feature in the EV3 and across the Morgan portfolio of vehicles.
‘This is a very exciting project for us,’ said Morgan’s Managing Director Steve Morris.
‘We have been involved in the research and development of new propulsion technology since the inception of the LifeCar project almost 10 years ago.
‘We are now ready to develop the best hybrid and electric drivetrain solutions for production implementation before the end of the decade.’
According to Morris, buyers of the electric model could expect the new technology and ‘broaden the appeal of the brand and attract new customers in our key markets’.
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