Journal: The Morgan EV3 Has Recharged My Faith In Motoring

The Morgan EV3 Has Recharged My Faith In Motoring

By Andrew Golseth
March 2, 2016
17 comments

Photos by Morgan Motor Company

Much like my angst to accept dual-clutch transmissions, I’ve viewed electric vehicles (EVs) as the poison to my oil-based passion for “real” automobiles. “If it’s not a manual, I don’t care,” I used to say. That was, until my girlfriend—now wife for obvious reasons—gave me an unforgettable experience: an all-out drive around Las Vegas Speedway in a 2009 Ferrari 458 Italia.

That drive completely changed my mind on flappy paddles. I’ve been an advocate for DCT since for cars of such colossal power, paired with incessant torque delivery. Still, like you, I prefer the classics with an honest-to-god row-my-damn-self manual transmission—with a clutch pedal.

I’m a fan of Morgan Motor Company for two primary reasons: it’s a small outfit of true enthusiast craftsman and its products are undeniably beautiful not only in construction and driving dynamics, but in their unmistakable aesthetics—especially those lovely trikes. So, when I heard Morgan was coming out with an EV Three Wheeler, I was both infatuated with the concept but struggled to see how it would transfer the Three Wheeler’s attitude. After all, the centerpiece of the petrol-powered trike is that lovely polished V-Twin snout.

I finally grew to appreciate DCT transmissions, but EV cars have still been something for other people—certainly nothing I’d be interested in… until now. Yesterday, Morgan dropped its new all-electric Three Wheeler, dubbed the “EV3.” Before we get into the specs, just look at this machine!

The Head of Morgan Design, Jonathan Wells, notes the cycloptic asymmetrical looks came from a number of influences, including 1950s-era Hollywood robots and early art deco cars. In place of the traditional engine and grill now houses an off-kilter primary headlight and brass cooling vents for the electric motors, giving the car an entirely new but welcome face.

In addition to the off-center headlight, the driver’s side sports a wind deflector and roll hoop, while the passenger cabin section complements the design’s driver-only-focus with a removal cover panel. The stunning stone silver metallic finish pulls off both vintage and modern seamlessly. All the chrome bits have been treated to black paint, tying into the black spoke wheels wrapped in white-lettered Firestones nicely—giving it an aggressive yet beautiful demeanor.

So, it looks like an even sleeker Three Wheeler and it’s still a handmade piece of British motoring artwork, but there’s more to this battery-operated cycle-car than that. This is not only the first EV for Morgan, but it’s also the first to use composite carbon in its construction—aiding to its airy ~1,000 pound overall weight. The bonnet, tonneau cover, and side pods are carbon while the rest of the panels remain aluminum with a traditional Morgan ash wood frame underneath.

The cabin looks similar to the standard combustion engine counterpart, said for the black two-spoke wheel, range indicator, and ‘magneto’ drive selection switch—offering just Reverse, Neutral, and Drive. It goes without saying, there’s a missing clutch pedal because… well, there’s no transmission, per se.

Wells goes on to say that despite the lack of a gear-shifter and third pedal, the driving experience is truly something special—with electric power offering max torque immediately, we’re inclined to believe him. The estimated figure from zero-to-60 is around 9 seconds—nothing too electrifying, but then again the regular Three Wheeler isn’t a rocket, either.

However, like classic cars, “speed” is subjective and with the open cabin, low ride height, and modest engine, the Three Wheeler has never been about sheer speed, it’s about the sensation of speed—something the Three Wheeler has always offered in high voltage.

The 150-mile range EV3 is scheduled for production by the end of the year and Morgan states the performance figures and pricing will be akin to that of the fossil fueled model. More details will be released closer to the assembly date, but what you see here is said to be nearly production ready.

I, and many others, were apprehensive about the manual transmission phasing out, but it’s changed the minds of many enthusiasts already—with surely more to follow. So, maybe fun vehicles like this Morgan is the EV formula we need in order to ease into an inevitable electric take over—the company has given me hope for a greener future, albeit in a tastefully vintage-like fashion.

Tags British/ EV3/ Morgan
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Christopher Cook
Christopher Cook
5 years ago

Like it or not its going to be the future

David Ardley
David Ardley
5 years ago

Five months on from reading this article my thoughts have changed a little. Aesthetics are achingly cool, it’s a ‘Morgan’ and if I had the monies I’d love one of these for the 12 mile commute to work along the shores of lake Geneva. Perfect 3-wheel EV territory.

But that’s it. I’d still keep my petrol engined, manual gearbox Lotus 7 for long haul blast and weekend fun. And that’s the thing. Many of my friends who have EV’s (Teslas mainly) also have petrol engined beauties tucked away for touring and weekend use/track days. You can’t avoid the sound, sensation (of a manual box), the smell of wood, leather and petrol as you blast around country lanes listening to that induction roar as the revs rise….that’s the hit; the junkie moment; the point you know you have an addiction…..the real ‘Petrolicious’ experience if you will.

There are still some significant, conveniently hid, issues with EV’s that are about to pop up on our landscape, not least the recycing issues and costs of battery cells. It’s not a show stopper, but the five year cycles on many battery packs is looming close for early ‘mass produced’ EV’s and it’ll be interesting to see what pans out from a cost/environment standpoint. I’m impressed by the Tesla cars, and I’m won over with this 3 wheel EV Morgan. But are they the saving grace for our planet?

No, not yet….there are too many humans who are petrol heads out there. Rightly or wrongly. I’m afraid I’m one of them.

Ernest Johansmeier
Ernest Johansmeier
6 years ago

i absolutely love this car!! it makes so much sense. let’s face it, electric cars are the future. cars like the Rimac will show that performance from electric motors will easily surpass combustion engines. for shear enjoyment this EV3 is perfect, light weight, skinny tires, gorgeous, sexy and the perfect runabout for our everyday lives. i want one, period!

Chulle
Chulle
6 years ago

This is brilliant.

Jeremy DeConcini
Jeremy DeConcini
6 years ago

Really cool rig.

Pedro Macedo
Pedro Macedo
6 years ago

Droolworthy. Morgan really nailed it aesthetics-wise. If the EV3 really performs at the level of the 3-Wheeler, it’ll be a fun toy to play with. The slight oversteer at the beginning of the video (being driven inside the garage) leaves me with high hopes about the capabilities for hooning a bit with it, given the healthy amount of torque being delivered instantly.

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger
6 years ago

Seriously ? And just is it about an unviable E/V with absolutely no future destined for the scrap heap in five years or less with Li batteries damned and determined to either ‘ brick ‘ self implode /explode or better yet turn you or your house into a CarBQ , run out of juice the minute you press down on the accelerator or the temp goes above 80f or below 38f not to mention god forbid you should drive the thing above 3500 ft thats recharging your faith in motoring ?

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger
6 years ago
Reply to  Guitar Slinger

PS; Is it April Fools already ?

And … assuming y’alls from CA …. where y’all gonna get the extra electricity to maintain an EV automotive economy seeing as how y’all grid is at the breaking point with multiple brown/blackouts monthly across the state …. not to mention y’all can’t be bothered to build your own power plants depending on the likes of CO , OR , WA etc all of who’s grids are also strained to the max and unwilling to sell y’all any additional juice !

As for this thing ? A first . Morgan of all companies has stooped to the level of Technology for Technology’s sake pretentious travesties in order to garner additional press coverage . Shame on Morgan . And shame on you Petrolicious for falling for this

Maxime Veilleux
Maxime Veilleux
6 years ago
Reply to  Guitar Slinger

Wow again I see you forgot your daily cup of ”Open Mindness” and skip the ”People are entitled to their own opinion” meal.

Remember its the most important meal of the day 😉 .

B Bop
B Bop
6 years ago
Reply to  Guitar Slinger

Way too much anger for one who claims to have achieved so much in life. Just more BS from GS !

Michael Banovsky
Michael Banovsky
6 years ago
Reply to  Guitar Slinger

The debate between gasoline and electric can’t be settled in the comments section of this article.

But the notion that we’re somehow “falling for” a vehicle like the EV3 is particularly precious. Guitar, you do realize, right, that most of what’s made modern cars so amazing is specifically because of electronics, computerization, and computer-aided design? From carbon fibre to tires to the combustion chamber itself, embracing technological improvement is precisely why vehicles are as good as they are.

To deny ourselves a damn fun (and in many ways superior) way of getting around—EVs—because so-and-so won the Mille Miglia back in such-and-such or that the electricity may come from a coal-fired or overworked source is to be remarkably short-sighted. It’s a worthwhile challenge to make EVs drive better, or to get electricity from a more sustainable source. But changes to the electrical grid benefit *everyone*, not just the people with EVs.

I don’t see any of it as a problem, because if the current crop of kinda-sorta-half-baked electrics can be this fun, in a generation or two you’ll probably be happy that your new car will double as the most powerful, longest-lasting guitar amp money can buy…

Maxime Veilleux
Maxime Veilleux
6 years ago

Wow that car is truly an amazing car for enthusiast, Seems like a lot of fun to drive around.

Definitly on my Gearhead Bucketlist.

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger
6 years ago

GearHeads don’t drive no goram EV’s … and St GearHeaditis has just placed your membership on suspension pending further review . For enthusiasts indeed . Might one assume you’ve never has the genuine misfortune of driving any of todays EV’s ? [ with the sole exception of the commuter only BMW i3 ]

Cause if you had …. including TESLA’s pretentious offerings … you’d know better

Bryan Dickerson
Bryan Dickerson
6 years ago

I dig everything about it except the grill. I ‘m a little surprised it’s not quicker to 60 but I bet it’s a blast.

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger
6 years ago

Its an EV ! What exactly did you expect ? Sub 4 second 0-60 times ? Trust me … one blast at its current 0-60 times will drain the battery pack down to next to nothing leaving you to limp if not much your way home . Doubt my words ? Ask any TESLA owner who’s had the misfortune to be a little too enthusiastic with the accelerator 😉

Marek Paty
Marek Paty
6 years ago