New cash: Startup Morris Commercial takes another swing at EV production

Britain’s Morris Commercial has completed a funding round, securing new investment for the production Morris J-Type, a small van initially produced in the 1950s. The BEV was to hit the road in 2021, but has yet to make it to production. The new launch date is set for early 2024.

The financing round was led by Capital for Colleagues (C4C). Further investments came from C4C co-investor Bill Ainscough and TJ Morris Limited, as well as Morris Commercial’s current shareholders, who “also made sizable further investments.” However, the company did not make public how much cash it collected.

In 2019, Morris Commercial first announced plans to electrify a delivery van from the 1950s. The now-named Morris JE was to offer a range of around 250 miles (402 km) and was said to cost around 60,000 pounds. The BEV features a 60kWh lithium-ion powertrain, can fast charge to 80 per cent in 30 minutes and has a 1,000kg payload and a 2.5-tonne gross weight. Top speed is set at 90 mph (145 kph).

The van still sports the design from the 1950s and was initially planned to launch in 2021. However, that did not happen. But the company says that “the vehicle is now close to production readiness, with the completion of various prototype and development vehicles featuring the ultralight recycled carbon fibre monocoque body and lightweight aluminium chassis.”

“We are truly grateful that new investors share our vision and beliefs and their confidence in Morris confirms the strength of our business model and our sustainability goals,” says Morris Commercial CEO Qu Li. According to a company statement, the money will be used for further R&D, engineering validation, certification, and “productionisation.” Deliveries are to begin early 2024.


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