The Morgan Motor Company caused quite a stir at the Geneva Motor Show 2012 when it unveiled a test version of a new electric roadster. The Plus E includes a Zytek Automotive battery, an electric motor, and electronics, along with a Mazda 5-speed gearbox.
The Zytek engine propels the rear wheels. “A multispeed transmission allows the motor to spend more time operating in its sweet spot, where it uses energy more efficiently, particularly at high road speeds,” Neil Heslington, Zytek Automotive’s managing director, said in a news release issued last year.
Radshape, a U.K.–based manufacturer of sheet metal, worked with Morgan to develop a lightweight aluminum chassis.
The first phase of the vehicle is about 200 kilograms “overweight”, with a third of that in the rear and two-thirds up front, according to a report on fGear.tv—the car channel. The Plus E travels 160 to 193 kilometres before it needs recharging, which isn’t ideal for motorists who like really long drives. Its top speed is 185 kilometres per hour—all with zero carbon-dioxide emissions out of the tailpipe.
With an expected sticker price of about $150,000, the vehicle won’t be cheap. Morgan officials said last year that they hope to line up at least 50 buyers before making a decision on whether to produce the Plus E for the consumer market.