Moke International has announced US pricing for the Electric Moke Californian, the first highway-legal version of the Mini Moke ever to go on sale in the US. Priced from $41,900, it's not exactly cheap considering that it can only reach a top speed of 50 mph (80 km/h).
Customers can now reserve their highway-legal electric beach buggy on Moke International's new US website for a refundable fee of $990. However, the company says they will have to act swiftly because sales are limited to 325 cars per year and there's strong interest in the Electric Moke Californian. The limited production run is due to the fact the automaker has to comply with the 2015 Low Volume Motor Vehicles Manufacturers Act.
After seven years of lobbying from SEMA (the Specialty Equipment Market Association), the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) implemented legislation that allows heritage brands to produce derivatives of any of their models that are over 25 years old, but comply with current Federal safety standards for motor vehicle equipment.
The new Electric Moke Californian is described as a faster, more powerful and emissions-free reinvigoration of the original car sold in the US between 1977-1982.
Gallery: Electric Moke Californian
The EV sprints from 0 to 34 mph (55 km/h) in 4.3 seconds, while its petrol-powered ancestor needed around 6.3 seconds to achieve the same sprint. Power is up from 39 horsepower to 44 horsepower, delivered by a rear-mounted electric motor.
This enables the electric buggy to reach a top speed of 50mph (80kph), making it legal to drive on the highway.The open-top EV offers a range of 80 miles (120 kilometers) on a full charge of its lithium-ion battery, subject to WLTP testing. Moke International says that is enough to cruise Route 101 down to Malibu Beach from Santa Barbara. A full battery charge takes four hours on a US Type 1 charger.
Available to buy only in the US, the Electric Moke Californian limited-run model features bespoke styling cues such as the "Californian" name badge and specially designed Moke logos.
"The interest in the Electric MOKE Californian since we announced its return has been huge, although perhaps not surprising considering how popular the original car was. We are thrilled to be able to offer American customers a genuine MOKE vehicle once again."
Isobel Dando, CEO MOKE International
As with the Electric Moke that is on sale in Europe, the Electric Moke Californian is a reimagination of the 1964 Mini Moke. Both are built at a 500,000-sq ft (46,450-sq m) facility in Northamptonshire, England, owned and operated by British automotive manufacturing services company, Fablink Group.