Munro MK 1 4X4 EV to break Scotland’s 30 year production drought with its axial flux motors

Young Scottish EV startup Munro Vehicles has officially launched its flagship model today – a massive 4×4 off-road truck called the MK 1. Its hand-built process also marks the first vehicle to be built at scale in Scotland since 1981. There are lot of new specs shared about the MK 1 below. Check it out.

Munro Vehicles was founded as recently as 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland, by Russell Peterson and Ross Anderson. The company nomenclature comes from a Scottish mountain that exceeds 3,000 feet that inspired the cofounders during an off-road camping trip in the Highlands. Munro’s particular focused on delivering performance and capability to EV enthusiasts who are specifically interested in off-roading.

Longevity is a huge part of the company ethos. As you’ll see below, Munro’s first model the MK 1 is not the most polished EV, but its creators have engineered it to deliver 50 years of service (with routine maintenance and planned refurbishment of course).

Over the past 3+ years, Munro has been developing the MK 1, which currently sits in the prototype phase. The start-up received 750,000 euros in pre-seed funding last April to help get the 4×4 EV closer to scaled production, which is scheduled to begin in 2023.

Today, the MK 1 moves ever closer to that benchmark as Munro Vehicles has officially launched it ahead of what could soon be Scotland’s only volume production vehicle.

  • Munro EV
  • Munro EV
  • Munro EV

Munro launches MK 1 EV starting around $61,000

The Scottish startup officially unveiled the MK EV today with some of the specs pre-order customers can expect. For instance, The 4X4 EV will come with a choice between two electric motors, 220kW and 280kW, alongside two battery pack options – 61 kWh or 82 kWh. Munro states that latter can provide an optimum range of up 190 miles and up to 16 hours of off-road operation on a single charge. The packs themselves are comprised of 35 state-of-the-art Lithium NMC battery modules.

Unlike most of the mass-produced EV market, Munro Vehicles has opted to integrated axial flux motors in the MK 1 which are twice as light as radial flux motors. Although they come a premium price, the Munro founders believe its worth it because the thinner, slower rotating motors allow for 50/50 front/rear weight distribution, enabling better ability off-road. Munro cofounder and head of powertrain Ross Anderson elaborated:

A further benefit of the axial flux motor is that it generates exceptionally high amounts of torque when running in reverse. When the Munro is in high gear ‘Drive’ mode, lifting off the accelerator provides a degree of regenerative braking via the resistance of the electric motor. In low-gear, ‘Off-Road’ setting, the regenerative braking is much more pronounced. This enables the vehicle to be driven in ‘one-pedal’ mode and provides a highly effective hill descent function to enhance safety and performance off-road.

Here are some additional expects on the Munro MK 1 EV:

  • Payload Capacity: 1,000 kg (2,204 lbs)
  • Towing Capacity: 3,400 kg (7,716 lbs)
  • Five doors, five seats
  • 130-inch wheelbase
  • AC charge rates: Overnight (7 kW) and 3.5 hours (22 kW)
  • DC CCS plug: 30 minutes
  • Top speed: 80 mph, 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds (280kW motor)
  • Peak torque: 700 Nm (up to 50 mph)
  • Starting price: £49,995 excluding VAT ($61,340)

Because Munro is looking to deliver EVs that last a lifetime, the company is vowing to support its customers beyond the 5-year, 100,000 mile warranty. Per Anderson:

With your average electric vehicle, the battery is designed to last the life of the car, so in most cases, customers will never have to worry about replacing it. But because the Munro is engineered to last several decades, we will either recondition or replace the battery pack for customers when the time comes. This has the added benefit of guaranteeing the future value of our customers’ vehicles. We will partner with companies specializing in reuse and recycling to recoup the residual value of the battery pack, which will enable us to fit the latest battery technology at a reasonable cost.

Looking ahead, Munro Vehicles intends to hand-build 50 MK 1 EVs in 2023 at its current headquarters in East Kilbride. In 2024 however, the startup is planning to move to a larger facility in central Scotland, where it will create 300 new jobs and scale to 250 EVs annually. Eventually, Munro expects the new site to produce as many as 2,500 units per year.

The company also states it has already received orders from customers in the UK, Switzerland, St Lucia, and Dubai in addition to several pre-sale agreements with fleet operators “in key industries.” Lastly, here’s some B-roll of the new MK-1 EV shared by Munro Vehicles this morning.

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Scooter Doll is a writer, designer and tech enthusiast born in Chicago and based on the West Coast. When he’s not offering the latest tech how tos or insights, he’s probably watching Chicago sports.
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