Morgan EV3 electric three-wheeler: eccentric British maker's official video


For British carmaker Morgan, tradition usually trumps technology.

Morgan is known for building cars with designs and construction methods first employed before World War II, including using wood to frame the bodywork of certain models.

But the company is making one important change: It plans to improve fuel efficiency by embracing hybrid and electric powertrains.

DON'T MISS: Eccentric British Maker Morgan To Add Hybrids To All Models

The first result of the new direction is the Morgan EV3, an all-electric version of the company's 3 Wheeler that debuted at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show.

And the company has now released a promotional video explaining the unusual electric car.

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

Morgan EV3

Morgan EV3

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Morgan unveiled a prototype electric version at the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed, and promised a production version to be shown later.

In terms of styling, the limited-production EV3 unveiled in Geneva departs significantly from both the prototype and the gasoline 3 Wheeler.

In most 3 Wheelers, a V-Twin motorcycle engine hangs off the front, and in place of that the EV3 gets a streamlined fascia with an unusual, off-center third headlight.

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

On the inside, there's a modern digital display, and a magneto switch for selecting forward and reverse.

Thanks to carbon-fiber body panels, the EV3 is actually 55 pounds lighter than a gasoline 3 Wheeler, despite its heavier electric powertrain.

That powertrain includes a 46-kilowatt (62-horsepower) electric motor and a 20-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack.

Morgan EV3

Morgan EV3

Enlarge Photo

The EV3 will do 0 to 62 mph in 9.0 seconds, and has a range of 150 miles, Morgan claims.

For now, Morgan plans to build just 10 EV3 three-wheelers, which will be sold only in the U.K. and The Netherlands.

MORE: Morgan Plus E Concept Car LIve Gallery: 2012 Geneva Motor Show (Mar 2012)

That trial run will be followed by a larger-scale production run, Morgan says.

The EV3 is part of a larger investment by what is now Britain's largest native-owner car company in electric powertrains, totaling £6 million ($8.5 million).

Morgan EV3

Morgan EV3

Enlarge Photo

Morgan plans to launch a full range of hybrids by 2020, with the first models expected to appear just before that, in 2019.

Officials believe hybrids' improved fuel economy and other potential benefits will help broaden Morgan's appeal.

For more 2016 Geneva Motor Show coverage, head over to our show news hub.

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