Morris Commercial secures funding for production of electric JE van

UK-based automotive start-up Morris Commercial has secured funding to accelerate production of its fully electric van.

Based in the UK Midlands, Morris Commercial set its mission to revive the historic Morris Commercial marque, but fully engineered for the 21st century. The JE van, which takes its fundamental design cues from one of the most recognisable commercial vehicles produced in Britain, incorporates innovative technologies with a zero emission, pure electric drivetrain, combining to make the vehicle carbon-neutral over its entire life cycle.

The company unveiled its first concept prototype Morris JE Nov 2019, showcasing a fully battery electric van for the 21st century. A fully road-worthy Morris JE prototype has already travelled across UK and Ireland and has appeared in a number of TV programmes such as the BBC Travel Show, Guy Martin and German state-owned station, Deutsche Welle.

Morris Commercial has now completed a significant funding round bringing new investment to the project alongside the capital secured from investors since the project was first announced in 2019. Capital for Colleagues (C4C), a listed investment vehicle focused on opportunities in the Employee Owned Business (‘EOB’) sector, led the current funding round and has invested alongside substantial investment from C4C co-investor Bill Ainscough and TJ Morris Limited. Morris Commercial’s current shareholders have also made sizable further investments.

The vehicle is now close to production readiness, with the completion of various prototype and development vehicles featuring the ultralight recycled carbon fibre monocoque body and lightweight aluminium chassis. The production prototype made its debut at industry-leading LCV show in September 2022.

With the new funding round, the Morris JE will now be subject to further R&D, engineering validation, certification, and productionisation. It marks a significant step forward for Morris Commercial and will enable the company to recruit further talent and expertise, and to strengthen its partnerships with core suppliers. With the establishment of the company’s production facilities, the delivery of the new vehicle is set to begin in early 2024.

Dr Qu Li, the CEO of Morris Commercial said: “We are truly grateful that new investors share our vision and beliefs and their confidence in Morris confirms the strength of our business model and our sustainability goals. With this new investment, we will be able to accelerate product development and take Morris JE to market. I am very excited about the future for Morris Commercial and look forward to delivering our iconic van to our many thousands of pre-registered customers around the globe with the support of our new investment partners.”

Alistair Currie, the CEO of Capital for Colleagues commented: “We are delighted to have successfully led this significant investment round for Morris Commercial, alongside existing stakeholders in Capital for Colleagues. Our combined investment will enable Morris Commercial to bring this incredible and unique vehicle to market, completing its mission to revive the historic Morris Commercial brand with state of the art, zero emission, technology, wrapped in a stunning, classic design.”

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