The manufacturer has formed a consortium with other UK automotive engineering consultancies, namely Delta Motorsports and Potenza Technology, both with past experience in developing high-performance electric powertrains. The consortium obtained a grant from the British government's Advanced Propulsion Centre to the tune of $8.5 million in order to develop hybrid and electric powertrains. Those technologies will begin making their way into Morgan's road cars starting in 2019. By the end of the decade, the company aims to offer hybrid propulsion on its entire model range.
This isn't the first time we've seen Morgan toy with electric propulsion. The company showcased the LifeCar concept in 2008 with a hydrogen fuel cell, the Plus E prototype in 2012 with an electric powertrain supplied by Zytek, and the EV3 electric trike just a few months ago. None of those projects, however, made it into production.
Morgan obviously isn't the first British automaker to delve into electrified propulsion. Jaguar Land Rover and McLaren have produced hybrids, Vauxhall offered the Ampera (its version of the previous Chevy Volt), and Bentley is soon to offer a hybrid version of the Bentayga. The battery-powered Mini E was offered only on a limited trial basis, while Rolls-Royce and Lotus have only experimented with electric powertrains.
The Morgan Motor Company is pleased to announce that it will lead a £6m project to develop new powertrain technologies, in collaboration with UK companies Delta Motorsport and Potenza Technology. With funding from the UK's Advanced Propulsion Centre, the consortium will develop hybrid and electric powertrain systems which will significantly reduce vehicle CO2 emissions and deliver best-in-class fuel economy.
The technologies developed through this project will be introduced progressively on Morgan's range of hand-built sports cars from 2019, with hybrid propulsion available on all of its models by the end of the decade. The advantages in terms of performance, fuel economy and refinement are expected to increase demand across its most important markets in UK and across Europe. This will result in a growth of the workforce at the Malvern factory and within the partnering companies.
Morgan Managing Director, Steve Morris, said "This is a very exciting project for us. We have been involved in the research and development of new propulsion technology since the inception of the LifeCar project almost ten years ago. We are now ready to develop the best hybrid and electric drive-train solutions for production implementation before the end of the decade. We expect the project to deliver growth and employment benefits here at Morgan and in our partner companies, but equally it will broaden the appeal of the Morgan brand and attract new customers in our key markets."
The funding was announced by the Government's Business Secretary, Sajid Javid, as part of his visit to the Morgan factory in Malvern Link last Friday (15/01/2016). During his visit, the Secretary of State was given a tour of the factory by Steve Morris, as well as being introduced to employees in key areas of the business.