Eccentric British Maker Morgan To Add Hybrids To All Models


Morgan AR Plus 4

Morgan AR Plus 4

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Among carmakers, Morgan isn't exactly known for adopting the latest trends.

The century-old British firm is known for building sports cars nearly identical to the ones it made before World War II--right down to the wood used in the construction of certain models.

But even Morgan is embracing the modern trend toward hybrid and electric powertrains.

DON'T MISS: Morgan Plus E Concept Car LIve Gallery: 2012 Geneva Motor Show (Mar 2012)

What is now  Britain's largest native-owned car company recently announced a £6 million ($8.5 million) investment to develop electrified powertrains for future models.

That will allow Morgan to offer a full range of hybrids by 2020, according to Autoblog Green.

The project will proceed in collaboration with U.K. automotive-engineering companies Delta Motorsports and Potenza Technology, both of which have past experience developing high-performance electric powertrains.

Morgan Plus E Concept Car

Morgan Plus E Concept Car

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Funding will be provided by the U.K. government's Advanced Propulsion Centre.

Morgan plans to begin rolling out hybrid powertrains in 2019, and make hybrid options available on all of its models "by the end of the decade."

Thanks to their improved fuel economy and other potential benefits, the company expects hybrids to attract a wider range of customers.

ALSO SEE: Morgan LIFEcar 2 Diesel-Electric Hybrid Promises 1,000mi Per Tank (Aug 2010)

To that end, it also anticipates growth in the workforce at its British factory.

The launch of hybrid production models will be the culmination of years of experiments with green technology by Morgan.

In 2008, Morgan unveiled the hydrogen fuel-cell powered LifeCar concept. This was followed up by a second model with a diesel-electric hybrid powertrain.

2015 Morgan Aero 8 - 2015 Geneva Motor Show live photos

2015 Morgan Aero 8 - 2015 Geneva Motor Show live photos

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Then it followed up again four years later with the Plus E concept, a battery-electric version of its Plus 4 sports car that debuted at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.

While intended as a concept, Morgan entertained the idea of putting the Plus E on sale depending on customer interest. There don't seem to have been enough takers.

MORE: Second All-Electric Morgan Concept Is Three-Wheeler Headed For Production (Jun 2015)

Last year, Morgan unveiled a second battery-electric concept at the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Called the EV3, it was based on the company's unusual 3 Wheeler.

Morgan EV3 Three Wheeler

Morgan EV3 Three Wheeler

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The 3 Wheeler is based on a prewar design built to take advantage of a British tax loophole that allowed it to be classified as a motorcycle.

It was revived recently for buyers looking for something different from the typical sports car or motorcycle.

With a rear-mounted electric motor replacing the stock V-Twin motorcycle engine, Morgan said it planned to put the EV3 into production "towards the end" of this year.

There hasn't been much news regarding the EV3 since then, but if Morgan really does move ahead with its hybrid plans, the electric 3 Wheeler could be in good company.

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