With a van that looks like it’s come straight from the 40s, Morris returns in a fully-electric guise.
It may look like an old van restored to its youthful looks, but underneath the carbon fibre body panelling, yes, carbon fibre, is an electric powertrain that will give the vehicle 200 miles of range. And while it looks very much like the Morris J-Type of the late 40s, this is a whole new commercial vehicle from the British company.
They say, “the JE is not intended to be a replica or a continuation of the original Morris J-type, but a reimagining of the original, iconic design”.
There are full-width doors at the rear and a sliding door on the side for easy loading and unloading, and Morris promise us that it can carry a tonne of load in the bed, and that it’s big enough to fit two European pallets in the rear. Plus, the modular chassis that it’s based on can be adapted for use for almost anything. The thing is, it starts at a whopping £60,000.
This is where I want to add a few point, and it pains me to do this because I love the nostalgic look of the van and I want the legendary Morris name to return, but this is not the way to do it. Firstly, a look at the competition. Diesel vans already blow this thing out of the water, but let’s look at electric.
A tonne isn’t a maximum payload you expect for £60k. Look at the Nissan e-NV200 for example. It may not be the best looking thing and it didn’t review well with other journalists, but for just £19,000 you get 187 miles and a 705kg maximum payload. You could buy three of those and still have money left over for a life’s worth of sausage rolls (it’s cold and I’m hungry while writing this).
Plus, do you think it’s possible to see those front arches from where you’re sat? No, I don’t think I’d be able to see them either, and that’s a dangerous game when trying to park, not to mention the fact that they’re made from carbon fibre. Hit something, and you might as well sign your bank balance over to the carbon gods. Ouch.
Look, I love the idea, but it feels rushed and badly planned. No one in their right mind would buy this for for their business, despite its unique looks and niche character, and because of that I really can’t see it succeeding. Sorry Morris, but it’s DOA.