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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.

  • tsport100

    “drive ratio of 1:1″ isn’t exactly right. 

    Most EVs run a much lower final drive ratio than ICE cars, e.g the Tesla Roadster has an 8.25:1 single speed reduction gearbox. That gives it a decent 3000Nm at the rear wheels, at any speed. The only down side is that even though the AC Induction motor spins up to 14,000 rpm, top speed is ‘only’ 125 mph due to the gearing.

    But you are correct about the Morgan, any EV that runs a multi-speed gearbox isn’t properly engineered!

  • Poison_Eagle

    YES! More makers should follow Morgan in keeping the ol’ manual gearbox alive. How I would love an electric car with a row it your own.  Screw what everybody else wants.