Morris Commercial JE electric van pre-orders opening soon

Morris Commercial is displaying the Morris JE, a 1950’s Morris J-Type-inspired electric van, at the Fully Charged Live event in Farnborough, UK. The company plans to start taking Morris JE pre-orders between October and December 2021. The Morris JE will enter production in Q3 of 2022.

Morris Commercial plans to expand the availability of the JE Electric van to new markets following its launch in the UK. The company has confirmed that it would deliver the electric van to other European countries, Australia, North America, and New Zealand. The original J-Type went to more than 20 countries from Britain.

Source: Morris Commercial/Youtube

Morris Garages was an offshoot from WRM Motors in 1923, which William Morris founded in 1912, a name that stood for decades selling automobiles of different kinds. In 1921, Cecil Kimber joined Morris Motors and was promoted to General Manager of the company the following year. In 1923, and under the watch of forefather William Morris, Kimber’s long hours with Morris’ cars in its garage led to the birth of Morris Garages.

William Morris was also the father of the lesser-reported ‘Morris Commercial’ around the same time, which introduced vans, trucks and taxi cabs popular between 1939 and 1974, serving the fleet customer under subsequent owners.

Revival of the Morris Commercial JE van as an EV

The British brand (not to be confused with MG Motor) was revived in November 2019 by a group of unnamed British and European investors under the leadership of Dr Qu Li, and their first model, the Morris Commercial JE, was unveiled at The Design Museum in London in November 2019. The J-type, its inspiration, was a 0.5-ton van that was manufactured between 1949 and 1961.

Morris JE electric van door open from Morris Commercial
Morris Commercial next plans to launch a pickup and a camper van off this electric platform. Note that Morris Commercial is not related to the SAIC-owned MG Motor. Image: Morris Commercial

We reached out to Dr Li, CEO and Founder of Morris Commercial, for the JE’s prospects outside Britain. She replied:

The vehicle will be initially certified for UK and Europe and be on sale in this market. We will then be looking into those markets that Morris has an history and still have goodwill and the certification is reachable. We will be looking to enter those markets.

Dr Qu Li, CEO and Founder of Morris Commercial
Morris JE electric van rear from Morris Commercial
Morris Commercial hopes that the JE will be “hugely appealing” to large and small businesses and customers seeking a distinctive vehicle. The original J-type’s design was highly recognizable, that some consider it in the same vein as British designs Mini and Defender. Image: Morris Commercial

With production slated to begin in Q4 2021 in an unspecified location in the UK, and with a retail price of approximately GBP 60,000 (besides leasing options), the Morris JE is marketed as an all-new approach to a battery-electric light commercial vehicle. Powered by a lithium-ion battery powertrain, featuring a modular chassis and carbon-fibre body construction, the reimagined brand says there is nothing quite like it in the current market.

“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,” says Dr Li.

UK-sourced lithium-ion batteries power the new JE. The vehicle sits on a ground-up new lightweight, modular chassis, which will spawn a pickup and a camper van. Due to the lightweight chassis and carbon fibre body, the Morris JE is one of the market’s lightest LCVs. The “outstanding” power-to-weight efficiency will give it a range of 200 miles (320 km) while the payload capacity is 1,000 kg. The company claims an 80% fast-charging time of just half an hour.

Morris JE electric van cargo payload from Morris Commercial
The JE gets a payload of 1000 kg and a carrying capacity of 5.5 m³. It will accommodate two standard Euro pallets in the loading space. Access is given via full-width rear doors and a sliding side door on the nearside of the van. Image: Morris Commercial

Iconic styling signatures lifted from the original J-type are the minimal front overhang, pear-shaped grille, split front windshield and swooping roofline. The company hopes to convince buyers who crave individuality mainly from the hospitality, sport and leisure, events and green logistics industries with the JE’s clearly distinctive shape and electric motor.

Featured Image Source: Facebook/Morris Commercial