The new Morris JE electric van has been revealed in full and it looks as unapologetically retro as we’d hoped. Just a couple of obstacles stand in your way if you want one. Firstly, it won’t go into production until late 2021. And secondly, it will set you back around £60,000.
In spite of its quaint styling, the JE is very much a modern van, with carbon fibre panels to add strength and save weight. A modular platform also means there can be different products spun off in future. These could include, says Morris, a pick-up, minibus and camper van.
The JE is also electric, of course. With an expected 200-mile range, 1,000kg payload and a 5.5 cubic-metre carrying capacity, it is decently practical. Morris says that, in spite of it being within the 2.5 tonne segment, that kind of carrying ability is something you’d ordinarily see in the 3.5 tonne class.
“It is a delight to unveil the new Morris JE to the world and for us to show what we have been working so hard to achieve,” said Dr Qu Li, CEO of Morris Commercial.
“From the outset, our vision was to bring a new concept to the LCV market, not just in terms of the battery electric powertrain, but also to introduce a timeless design that takes the aesthetics and appeal of such a vehicle to a whole new level. What we have created is a beautiful, retro design that sits upon a cutting-edge, modular BEV platform, delivering practicality and functionality to compete with the best in its segment.”
Still, £60,000 remains a lot of money for a small van. But while builders or tradespeople may not see the appeal, there are more premium ‘lifestyle’ applications. Morris highlights the hospitality, sport and leisure industries, along with high-end manufacturing.
We could quite easily imagine one of these as a vegan food truck parked up in Shoreditch. They’d make appropriate additions to Goodwood’s commercial fleet, too. The right buyers could well exist for the JE, then. But they will have to wait.