Scottish EV start-up Munro Vehicles has developed an electric all-terrain challenger for the Land Rover Defender and Mercedes G-Class. The company has started taking pre-orders for its first offroader but is predominantly betting on the North-American market for its business model, where it has found a partner for deliveries as of next year.
Scotland’s first 4×4 EV resembles the old Defender, and Munro says that its Mark 1 can cope with the towing capacity (3 500 kg) and payload (maximum 1 000 kg) of that model. But contrary to the lifestyle public wooed by the famous offroader from Land Rover, the Munro aims at agricultural clients or those active in forestry and mining. This is a true workhorse, just like the original Defender was conceived, but without any emissions.
270 kilometers of range
Munro makes a point in a class that is dominated by diesel. The Mark 1 features a (useable) 80.1kWh strong and liquid-cooled battery pack coupled to a permanent four-wheel drive and an axial flux motor capable of 376 hp and 700 Nm of torque.
But how long will the battery last when adverse conditions strain the driveline? Munro believes that the Mark 1 can offer 270 kilometers of range, but under normal conditions, no offroading.
The Munro Mark 1 is capable of peak charging at 100 kW, refilling the pack from 10 to 80% in 36 minutes. At a 22 kW charger, it takes around 3 hours. Under those rugged looks sit sturdy mechanics, with rigid axles and a mechanical two-speed transmission. The core platform is also adaptable for special applications, and the wading depth of 1 000 mm is right up there with the very best of offroaders.
5 000 units by 2030
Next year, only 50 units will be built, but the output will gradually ramp up to 500 in 2024, 2 500 in 2025, and 5 000 in 2030. Munro has teamed up with the American specialist in EV distribution Wyre, which will offer the car to its professional customers. In the UK, the retail price is £65 000 tax excluded.
The Munro also reminds of the Ineos Grenadier. Another modern Defender clone demonstrating how hard it is for the British public to say goodbye to their beloved original Land Rover. Ineos, Europe’s largest existing electrolysis operator, is also working on an emission-free version but is focused on hydrogen propulsion with fuel cells.
Land Rover has yet to unveil plans and details about an all-electric Defender, but several aftermarket tuners offer conversion kits (ECD, Electrogenic, Twisted…). Mercedes has already unveiled a concept of its EQG, which will be a battery-powered version of its famed G-Class. Supposedly it will feature next-gen battery technology and will hit markets in 2024.