The iconic Morris J-type commercial van is being revived as an electric vehicle, the reborn brand announced Monday. The new model, dubbed the Morris JE, will be revealed in running form later this fall, but for now we're being teased with these dark images of the re-imagined delivery van.
While the silhouette in these teasers seems to borrow heavily from the original J-type, Morris says it's not simply a replica but draws upon the "DNA and values" of its inspiration while offering a "fun, funky" design that will still fit in among contemporary offerings.
Morris JE commercial van
Morris Commercial ended operations in 1971, but the brand was reborn in 2016 and the JE is planned as its first product.
The company provided little in the way of technical information about its new project, instead hedging on the brand's previous history and the ubiquity of the original J-type van (in the U.K.). The JE will draw its power from lithium-ion battery pack, sport a "lightweight" chassis, and be built from carbon fiber. Morris says this combination will result in an empty weight that is lower than any other light-duty commercial vehicle on the market.
"The working engineering prototype has undergone extensive road testing and the end of 2019 is an amazing conclusion to the first phase of the project. We still have a little way to go to bring the project to full production, but we have the team and the product to make this an enormous success," said Morris Commercial founder and CEO Dr. Qu Li, who acquired the rights to the Morris Commercial name.
We're not entirely sure how Dr. Li would define success with this venture, as we suspect it will also be the most expensive LCV available, but we'll have to see just how much of this high-minded concept makes it into production. A technologically advanced and lightweight commercial vehicle may appeal to certain operators, but high cost will likely make any volume play unrealistic.