Morgan EV3 Electric Three-Wheeler Shelved

OCT 14 2018 BY MARK KANE 28

Hopefully, it’s only postponed

The Morgan EV3 electric three-wheeler will not enter production as Morgan Motor Company shelved the project because the company didn’t get along with its EV supplier Frazer-Nash Energy Systems.

According to Autocar, Morgan expected a turn-key powertrain for the EV3, but realized that it’s not the case and requires more in-house know-how.

The British brand remains committed to the electric future, so we believe EV3 needs some re-design work, maybe a new supplier and then, at some point in the future, those cool EVs will hit the road.

Morgan managing director Steve Morris said:

“our current EV powertrain supplier is no longer able to fulfil the project within the terms of the contract”.

“Morris insisted the EV3 is not dead, but will have to be re-evaluated. However, the company had learned from the experience, he said: “We had expected Frazer-Nash to deliver a turn-key powertrain for the EV3, but have since realised we need more EV know-how inside our Malvern headquarters. We are in the process of bolstering our EV team by bringing additional specialist resource in-house.””

The EV3 was unveiled in 2016 with interesting specs:

  • 150 miles (240 km) of operational range
  • 20 kWh battery
  • 46 kW electric motor
  • 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in less than 9 seconds

Source: Autocar

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28 Comments on "Morgan EV3 Electric Three-Wheeler Shelved"

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But building electric cars is suppose to be easy for the ICE car companies to do! That I was told. and Tesla would be swarmed over by the old companies.

Electric designs are simple, but they are not ICE designs and does take some thinking to do, yet repeatedly we were told the old car manufacturers have all the experience needed. But here we see even a company that basically hand builds it’s cars still needs more than just ICE experience and knowledge to build good electric cars.

Yes, electric cars are very easy to build, due of this a lot of companies had been founded in the recent years ready to get success. This shall had been impossible with ICE engines.
But make good EVs isn’t so easy as some expect. Anyway, the learning curve is less sloped than petrol cars and any big maker has a huge ammount of economic, commercial and technological resources, so in a very, very short time, all first car makers will have a very competitive EVs in the market. In one-three years, most of first makers will have EV cars around 20k € ready. Affordable cars for the masses. The real revolution.

I hope, as the article suggests, this car is only delayed, not cancelled. Not that I would personally ever buy one even if I could afford it, but it’s lovely to dream about driving such an impractical vehicle, and I think the world is a more interesting place with, rather than without, at least a few people in the world occasionally driving one!

In truth I love the Morgan design, but it think they made a mistake in depending on an outside company for the drive train.

This is something where they need to develop their own design experts in-house, then produce a car that others can not make because they do not have the same knowledge.

Hopefully, that is what they are now doing.

Maybe; maybe not. Considering how small a production run this car will have, I think there’s a good argument for outsourcing the powertrain, whether it be ICE or BEV.

After all, some small auto makers do buy engines from large auto manufacturers such as GM and Ford.

And Morgan sourced the ICE engine for this vehicle from S&S.
Maybe they can work with AC Propulsion?

AC Propulsion looks like a good possibility, yes. I do see they have provided the EV powertrain for a few low-production vehicles.

What about Bosh?

Morgan has always outsourced their ICE engines, I don’t think that is about to change now that they want to build EV’s. They’re just not the right company to be doing that.

Ron Swanson's Mustache

I love the idea of the Morgan 3 wheeler.

The original 3-wheeler was an outgrowth of motorcycle technology, with a chain-driven rear wheel. They need to talk to one of the electric motorcycle companies to source the entire rear assembly. Which one?

Good point. I can’t imagine why anyone would down-vote your comment.

A 3 wheeled vehicle is not very stable and those that are used in Asia are only for low speed travel between 40 – 60 km/h to carry passengers & freight.
No one uses it for private travel. So even if Morgan sells, very few may buy it.

That’s why an Indian company called Bajaj is launching a small 4 wheeled vehicle called ‘Qute’ which has 217 cc engine. For comparison the Smart-For2 has 660 cc engine. Yet Qute can carry 4 passengers and is already sold in 16 countries.

Length:2752 mm; Width:1312 mm; Height:1652 mm

Do Not Read Between The Lines

3 wheeled vehicle stability is fine.
Morgan is a boutique manufacturer, so volume isn’t going to be a problem.

The Bajaj has a high roofline and a slim width, yes, that would be unstable.

But, the Morgan is for back country English roads. This vehicle is designed to be appealing at 40-45 miles per hour on back country English roads. Like the old Triumph and Spitfire sports cars. Light weight, responsive and just designed to be fun in real world driving. Having fun at legal speeds.

Properly designed, a 3-wheeler can be almost as stable as a 4-wheeled vehicle. The 2-wheels-in-front arrangement is better than vice versa; it’s more stable under heavy braking. Having a single drive wheel in the rear also allows the elimination of a differential.

Why are you comparing a hand built 3 wheeled sports car that dates back to the 30’s and serves no other purpose than pure fun to a cheap mass produced commuter car? I don’t think they could be any different to each other.

You would also have to be hilariously incompetent to roll a Morgan 3 wheeler.

Ron Swanson's Mustache

Some people, evidently, cannot tell the difference between cars built for different purposes.

Ron Swanson's Mustache

I just looked at the Bajaj Qute.

Comparing that to the Morgan is an explicit demonstration that you have no idea what you’re talking about.

Just another important point. A car being a rectangular/prismatic shaped vehicle can easily carry 4 passengers in it’s 2 rows of seats.
2 seater vehicles are on the decline.

Recently Opel has decided to stop producing Cascada. Even though its 4 seater, the 2 passengers in the rear seat will feel tight.

Even sports car makers like Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini are moving away from coupes to crossovers to seat 4/5 passengers comfortably.

Ron Swanson's Mustache

No one who buys a Morgan 3 wheeler cares the least tiny bit about your belief that all cars should be bland econoboxes.

“The British brand remains committed to the electric future, so we believe EV3 needs some re-design work, maybe a new supplier and then, at some point in the future,….”. ………. when they’ve learned to count to four, another wheel.

I didn’t see it posted by anyone else here so I’d just like to point out that this “car” is ugly and kinda silly. I mean it’s uglier than my LEAF and 500e and old school Insight. Maybe I’m in the minority with this POV. Also there’s a list of good reasons why most cars have 4 wheels.

Maybe the buyers of this kind of vehicle, prefers the classic feeling that a twin cylinder V engine give to the Three Wheeler. I can understand the fans of electric cars and sometimes, their hating to the ICE cars, but I love all the cars, electrics that will be a neccesary future, but I like ICE cars too and I’m sure that this Morgan is more fun to drive with a petrol engine than electric one, because the noise, the use of the manual gearbox, the vibrations…. make a whole experience that is what drivers that put their eyes on this vehicle, are looking for.
I’m sure in a next future, a car like this could have demmand, but the objetive purchasers today, I think are people with a classic point of view of what a funny car must to be.

That’s a very good point, they are looking for a niche of a niche for their buyers, I’m certainly not a prospective buyer but it seems unlikely that the sort of person that is, wants to do away with all the features of current little open petrol manual drive sports cars (and to boot they probabiy like tinkering with engines as well.)
Now what I might be in the market for is a Mazda MX5 type EV, eg little 4 wheeled comfortable open top 2 seater sports car, I’m surprised no one is catering for that market.

There’s a lot of ignorance in this comments section.

This is only one limited run car out of Morgan’s bigger line up, the rest all have 4 wheels and are pretty serious cars.

Morgan doesn’t care what you think, neither do their customers. They don’t care that you think it’s impractical, ugly or old fashioned. That is half the point. Do some research on Morgan, what they build and what they stand for before showing your ignorance. Checking out would be a good start.

Morgan has always used suppliers for their engines, be it Ford, Rover or Vauxhall, they’re not big enough to develop their own. They were also one of the first niche manufacturers wanting to get into EV’s but it doesn’t seem to have worked yet. It’ll happen eventually, they just need the right suppliers.

“Ugly three wheeler” is my POV not ignorance. Thanks but no thanks for the link. I should not have commented on this thread to begin with as it’s a waste of time and irrelevant to the big picture. Apologies if I offended anyone.

Ron Swanson's Mustache

Dave100e is absolutely correct.

Nearly all boutique manufacturers outsource the production of their motors, and with good reason. Designing, developing, and setting up the manufacturing plant for them is an incredibly difficult and expensive task.

It’s worth noting that Elio Motors tried to take the route of designing their own motors, and, after sinking millions of dollars into the effort, have simply decided to source them from a traditional auto maker.