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Electric 4 × 4 enters production

MUNRO SERIES-M
Munro Vehicles has completed the first pre-production model of its white Series-M utility all-electric 4x4

MUNRO SERIES-M Munro Vehicles has completed the first pre-production model of its white Series-M utility all-electric 4x4

24th November 2023

     

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Scotland-based automotive manufacturer Munro Vehicles announced the completion of the first preproduction model of its white Series-M utility all-electric 4 × 4 earlier this month.

The vehicle is a hard-top five-seater and leaves the factory in East Kilbride ten months after Munro unveiled the MK 1 prototype model in Edinburgh in December 2022.

The start of manufacturing for Munro denotes a significant moment in British automotive history as the company initiates the return of light vehicle mass production to Scotland for the first time since the closure of the Linwood car plant in 1981.

The roll-out of the Series-M Utility signifies the next phase of Munro’s strategic vision to expand its production facilities and grow its workforce and bring 300 new jobs to the region by 2027, the company said in the press release, highlighting that achieving scale-up will allow Munro to increase production from 50 vehicles over the next 12 months, to 200 units a year and 2 500 by 2027.

Munro’s roadmap will enable it to capitalise on a global market opportunity, it said.

The company, which has been named as a finalist in the Fully Charged awards for Best Innovative EV Manufacturer, is uniquely positioned to support customers operating in demanding sectors, which include agriculture, construction, defence, disaster relief and forestry.

The Munro Series-M will empower customers to decarbonise their 4 × 4 vehicle fleets, without compromising on off-road performance, practicality, and durability, the company explains.

“Witnessing the first pre-production Munro Series-M Utility roll off the line is a momentous moment. Both for Munro and Scotland, as the Series-M Utility is the first light vehicle to enter mass production since the Linwood car factory closed,” Munro vehicle sales head Marcus Mackle commented.

He added that while it “represents an undeniably historic occasion”, Munro’s focus is “firmly on the future”.

With a two-year customer pipeline worth £68-million for the innovative and sustainability-focused Munro Series-M Utility hard-top and Series-M Truck open-bed, the company is confident of future growth.

The Series-M range was forged during an intensive period of development that pushed the vehicle to the limit in the unforgivaing Scottish terrain that inspired the company’s name. Comprehensive feedback was collated during an extensive customer test drive programme.

“Our customers spoke, we listened, and we acted,” explained Munro CEO and cofounder Russell Peterson.

He said the feedback from customers drove the company to “achieve even greater levels of innovation”, which enabled it to create a “highly versatile, sustainable and enduring electric 4 × 4 to help customers transition to net-zero and protect the environment”.

Numerous improvements were added following this feedback. These included an adjustable steering column with steering wheel controls, plus a raft of ergonomic enhancements. A full suite of safety equipment, including airbags, ABS brakes, stability and traction control, were also included.

The transition to superior body paneling ensures components can be more easily replaced, which further bolsters Munro’s philosophy of engineering out obsolescence to create all- electric 4 × 4’s capable of 50 years of environment-friendly, zero tailpipe-emission service.

At the rear of the vehicle, an ‘exoskeleton’ mounted on the hardtop of the utility specification models enables easy mounting of equipment. This keeps with Munro’s determination to create a versatile all-electric 4 × 4 with an array of options to meet a wide range of diverse customer needs.

The introduction of a more durable, longer-lasting lithium-iron-phosphate battery pack provides a faster 30-minute, 130 kW rapid charging time. Munro has also significantly improved the thermal efficiency of the vehicle, meaning that waste heat, scavenged from the drivetrain, can now be used to heat the cabin.

Combined with more effective sound-deadening measures, the Munro Series-M makes for a more comfortable travelling experience, the company notes.

The Munro Series-M is a “ground-breaking” electric-powered, four-wheel-drive workhorse that combines the “rugged reliability and repairability of a full-time 4 × 4 mechanical drivetrain with a state-of-the-art electric powertrain”, ensuring zero tailpipe emissions.

The vehicle is offered in ‘standard’ M170170 kW and ‘high-power’ M280280 kW guises and in utility (hard-top) and truck (open-bed) configurations.

More than 250 preorders for both the utility and truck models have been received so far, “affirming that Munro's vehicles are precisely what the market needs”, particularly in sectors where radical solutions are required to enable operators to meet their decarbonisation targets.

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor

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