Morgan teams up with technology partners to build high-performance electric sports car concept

18 August 2011 #SMMT News

A new, high-performance electric sports car prototype is being developed by the Morgan Motor Company and a consortium of British technology specialists. The Morgan +E programme will deliver two engineering concept vehicles early in 2012.

The collaborative research and development project is being part-funded by a £100,000 grant from the Niche Vehicle R&D Programme, managed by CENEX. The scheme promotes the development of new technologies to take advantage of the increasing market opportunities for lower carbon vehicles.

The chassis for both concept vehicles will be a development of the aluminium chassis of the Aero SuperSports, built by UK precision metal former Radshape. However, instead of using a petrol V8, the cars will be powered by a derivative of Zytek‘s high power-density 70kW (94bhp) 300Nm electric powertrain. An unusual feature of the electric concept vehicle will be that drive from the motor will go through a conventional manual gearbox.

“This is an exciting investigation into the potential for a zero-emission Morgan with near supercar performance,” said Steve Morris, Morgan’s Operations Director. “By working closely with Zytek and Radshape, who already have considerable expertise in this field, we aim to make this a realistic concept that could lead to further developments if demand and other factors prove favourable.”

Zytek’s UK facility can integrate up to 6,000 E drives a year in batches as low as 100, providing vehicle manufacturers with a flexible specialist production resource for low carbon vehicle programmes.

Speaking about the choice of manual transmission, Zytek‘s Engineering Programme Manager, Neil Cheeseman said, “Keeping the motor in its sweet spot will help it use energy more efficiently, which will increase the vehicle’s range. It also allows us to provide lower gearing for rapid acceleration from pull-away and higher gearing for top speed. It should also make the car more engaging for keen drivers.”

Keith Chadwick, Managing Director of Radshape, added, “Access to CENEX funding, who support the Niche Vehicle Network, will allow British companies to demonstrate their world-class expertise. The UK has many of the world’s most capable specialists in low-carbon vehicle technologies and projects such as the Morgan +E are an outstanding way for us to bring our considerable expertise to life.”

You can find out more about UK automotive manufacturing by downloading SMMT Motor Industry Facts 2011.

SMMT has also published the Electric Car Guide to help motorists make more informed decisions when purchasing an EV.


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