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by Brett Davis

The new Morgan Plus E electric concept will be unveiled at next month’s Geneva motor show. Morgan says if enough interest is expressed in the concept, it will put it into small-scale production.

The Plus E will be one of the first fully electric vehicles to be fitted with a manual transmission. Up until now, straight-through drive set-ups have been favoured.

Electric vehicles are inherently torquey, and the torque is usually available from zero revs. One of the reasons a petrol/diesel vehicle is fitted with a transmission is to allow the engine to rev and produce torque while working through speeds.

In an electric car torque is instant so a drive ratio of 1:1 – set to cater for most speeds – can be used. With less moving parts and less connections, it’s the cheaper and more effective alternative.

A manual transmission in the electric Plus E should allow the Morgan to accelerate very quickly, and a higher top speed compared with most other electric vehicles is likely.

The Plus E will use a powertrain developed by UK-based electric vehicle firm Zytek. Steve Morris, Morgan’s operations director, said in a recent statement,

“This is an exciting investigation into the potential for a zero-emissions Morgan with near supercar performance.”

Morgan will also unveil the new Aero Coupe (pictured) at Geneva, featuring a 290kW 4.8-litre BMW V8 engine. The coupe is set to weigh just 1175kg.