For eco-minded consumers that need to transport five people across extreme terrain, your moment has arrived with the all-electric Munro MK1. The Munro MK1 is more utility than SUV. It is intended for harsher terrain than soccer fields and is engineered for mining, construction and agriculture endeavors. Truthfully, it has more than a passing resemblance to a vehicle used by a SWAT team.
Based in the United Kingdom, Munro Vehicles was founded in 2019 by Russ Peterson and Ross Anderson. The Munro MK1 is the first light vehicle to enter production in Scotland in more than four decades, and Munro Vehicles is Scotland’s only volume production car company.
“We had already taken measures to reduce our own environmental footprints and had a lot of experience driving our own EV, and got quite used to the instant torque delivery,” says Russ Peterson, co-founder of Munro Vehicles. “But the off-roader we were driving through the Highlands was combustion-engined, and it was really struggling on the steep climbs. So, we were musing how much better it would be with an electric motor.
“It dawned on us that there was a gap in the market for an electric-powered, four-wheel-drive, utilitarian workhorse. We envisioned a vehicle with ultimate, go-anywhere, off-road ability, unrestricted by road-derived underpinnings that limit the all-terrain ability of vehicles such as the 4×4 pick-up trucks that have come to dominate the market.”
The MK1 has a 130-inch wheelbase in a five-door platform with room for five. It can accommodate a 1,000 kg (2,204 lbs.) payload and has a 3,500 kg (7,716 lbs.) towing capacity. It’s offered with a pair of electric motors options, (220 kW and 280 kW) with two options for battery packs (61 kWh and 82 kWh). Optimum range is up to 190 miles, and the MK1 can operate off-road for up to 16-hours on a single battery charge. The MK1’s battery packs consist of 35 lithium NMC battery modules mounted underneath the vehicle in three heavy duty aluminum boxes. Munro’s battery pack is guaranteed to provide 80 percent of its original energy capacity for at least eight-years and 100,000 miles.
“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,” says Ross Anderson, co-founder of Munro Vehicles. “This has the added benefit of guaranteeing the future value of our customers’ vehicles.”
Engineered for low-end torque, the MK1 has a top speed of 80 mph, with the 280 kW Performance version going from 0 to 62 mph in 4.9-seconds. The MK1 has 480 mm (18.9 inches) of ground clearance and can traverse water up to a depth of 800 mm (31.5 inches). It has an impressive 84- and 51-degree approach and departure angles, and a 148-degree ramp breakover angle. For strength and stability, the MK1 sits on a galvanized steel ladder chassis constructed with 5 mm (0.2 inches) thick steel as opposed to the typical 1.5 mm (.06 inches) used in many 4x4s.
Munro states that the MK1 electric vehicle is engineered for 50 years with routine maintenance and planned refurbishment. This is a hyperbolic statement from any vehicle manufacturer and even more so from a newbie startup like Munro Vehicles. Hopefully the pair of screws in my surgically repaired heel have the same build quality but, to quell any fears about manufacturing standards, all Munro vehicles have a full five-year /100,000-mile warranty, which Anderson describes as “super flexible.”
The MK1 is priced from £49,995 ($61,000) and deliveries will begin 2023.