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2017’s Top Ten Tech Cars: Morgan EV3

Three wheels, now electric

2 min read
The Morgan EV3
Like a Trike: The Morgan EV3 is the environmentally safe therapy for midlife crises.
Photo: Morgan Motor Co.

Dropping an electric power train into a Morgan is like putting a nuclear reactor in a clipper ship. This romantic, inimitable three-wheeler still employs the ash-wood frame and hand-beaten sheet metal that the originals did. In 1909. That’s when H.F.S. Morgan founded his little shop in Malvern, England.

But instead of depending on that old V-twin motorcycle engine hammering away up front, Morgan fans can race into the 21st century—in stealthy, silent fashion—with a rear-mounted electric motor. As incongruous as it may seem, electric drive suits the Morgan well because it exploits the roadster’s compact design. Consider the stats: a curb weight below 500 kilograms (1,102 pounds), much of it in the form of a 20-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery housed in its tubular space frame, and a 46-kilowatt liquid-cooled AC motor driving the single rear wheel. Morgan figures you’ll manage 240 kilometers (150 miles) on a charge. To trim weight, the EV3 is the first Morgan with carbon composite panels, used for the bonnet, tonneau cover, and side pods. The face is inspired by the aero-engine race cars of the 1930s, with burnished brass bars up front actually serving as conductive cooling fins for the battery.

Morgan expects the EV3 to scoot from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour (62 miles per hour) in under 9 seconds, on par with the internal-combustion version, and to top 145 km/h (90 mph). Yes, your mom’s Toyota Camry is faster. But if you’ve ever been fortunate enough to drive a Morgan or even experience it from the passenger seat, you’ll know that it feels like it’s traveling 200 km/h when it’s going only 100, plunging you into a hair-mussing euphoria of sensory stimulation and hovering danger.

Looking for a means to enjoy a satisfying midlife crisis with a low carbon footprint, no legal bills, and no secret child-support payments? Look no further, friends.

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