The toughest electric off-road vehicle comes from Scotland

The Munro Mk 1 is a fully electric off-road vehicle, designed and built in Glasgow, Scotland, and built to handle a tough life as a work vehicle on farms, quarries or anywhere strong off-road credentials or serious pulling power are required. are required. Launched this week at a press event in Edinburgh, the Mk 1 is open for pre-order now with a first series of 50 vehicles due for delivery in 2023 and starting at £49,995 (around $61,100).

In person, it’s an imposing beast, with huge off-road wheels, gigantic visible suspension springs, and angular bodywork that wouldn’t look out of place in a military convoy. However, I like it and, even if I struggle to park it in my driveway, it is a vehicle that I would love to fill up with my photographic equipment and go on a photographic expedition through the Scottish hills. Inside, things are very spartan, with little luxurious comfort and a dash with a small scattering of physical dials and switches to control the heating. There are two small screens for the driver and for infotainment, and there are at least a couple of JBL speakers buried in the doors for a soundtrack to your daily work.

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But it’s a far cry from the sleek, comfortable, and futuristic interiors of electric vehicles like the Hyundai Ioniq 5 or Tesla Model X. And that’s exactly the point. This is a car built for work. For people in muddy work boots to hop in and go, without worrying about ruining footwell carpets or leaving mud splatters on doorways. It has a simple design and is designed to be easily repaired should it receive any damage. Headlights, for example, can be replaced individually instead of having to replace an entire group, as is the case with most vehicles.

“The useful life of a typical diesel truck in a mine is around three to five years,” said Munro CEO Russ Peterson. “Ours is designed to last for decades.”

One of the most common things to break on an SUV, Peterson said, is the windshield. “In a Rivian, a windshield costs $1,800. In ours it’s £135″, about $165″, “and that’s with heating. It’s flat glass and it’s easy to do.”

The Mk 1 will allow companies to decarbonise their fleets in a truly cost-effective way, he said.

An image showing a dark gray off-road electric vehicle

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The electric powertrain is undoubtedly the most high-tech element of the vehicle, with four motors driving the wheels individually, with an 82.4 kWh battery under the hood. Munro says the top-spec model will do 0-62 in just 4.9 seconds, has a 1,000kg towing payload and a total range of 186 miles. And while 186 miles doesn’t quite compete with the 300-plus miles of range offered by many of today’s consumer EVs, Munro argues that it’s more than enough for use as a work vehicle. However, he does support 100 kW fast charging to get that range back quickly.

The first 50 units will be delivered in 2023 before the company opens a bespoke manufacturing facility in central Scotland – the first vehicle manufacturing to take place in the country for over 40 years and promises to generate more than 300 jobs in the area. Munro aims to be able to produce 2,500 vehicles per year by 2027.

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