Image: Moke International
The recent revival of the iconic beach buggy the Mini Moke, under the stewardship of British company Moke International, has taken an electric turn for the European summer, with the first full-speed petrol-free models now rolling off the production line.
Originally designed by the same man behind the Mini, Sir Alec Issigonis, the lightweight utility named after a slang term for a donkey has been “reimagined” as a fully electric vehicle, offering enhanced performance, zero noise and – according to Moke – a range of around 120-140km.
Moke International said this week that after years in the workshop, the new all-electric Moke, which is manufactured in the UK, will be hitting British roads in time for a “glorious summer of open air motoring.”
Customers in the UK who made reservations can expect delivery of their new cars from June through Moke’s local distributor, Hendy Group – and ditto for customers in France.
“In recent times, petrol-powered Mokes have been championed by everyone from Kate Moss to George Russell,” said Moke International commercial director Robyn Kennedy in a statement.
“Our team has been working relentlessly for three years to engineer and manufacture a worthy, sustainable successor with the latest technologies.”
To curry favour with the jet set, electric Mokes will be put at the disposal of guests at Beaverbrook, a “quintessentially English country house estate,” and will be on show at an “official experience centre” in Saint-Tropez.
And international clients of luxury real-estate company Bo-House and Tardieu Immobilier will also have access to an exclusive monthly subscription package.
This, says Moke, will extend the freedom and joy of driving an electric Moke without the commitment of ownership.
“Moke is all about country roads, beach excursions, the summer breeze in your hair and enjoying the journey, rather than hurrying from A to B,” says Kennedy.
For example, Moke says the battery has sufficient range for “at least three round trips from Cap-Ferrat to Monaco, at a suitably leisurely 80km/h.”
Beyond the UK and France, it’s not clear how available the electric Moke will be in other markets in Europe or abroad, least of all in the colonies.
But in September of last year, when petrol engine versions of the rebooted Moke were making the rounds, representatives of the brand told Drive the desire to bring it back to Australia was “dear to our hearts.”
“We absolutely would love to bring the Moke back to Australia in some way,” the spokesperson told Drive. “We very much have eyes on Australia as a great international market for Moke.”
Certainly, Australia makes the cut on the A-Z drop-down list of countries on the online reservation form, but then so do Azerbaijan, Tuvalu and Zambia.
In terms of specs, it’s largely a what-you-see is what-you-get situation with the Moke, with few bells and whistles – or, for that matter, standard safety features. The design is kept very true to the original.
Image: Moke International
According to the website, the battery’s range is 144km (which is more than is specified in the press release), with a charging time of around four hours, subject to WLTP testing. Top speed is 100km/h.
The starting price for the electric Moke is £29,150 (just under $A52,000), which the website notes is before on road coasts and/or local incentives.
For this price you can choose from a range of colours including Wave Blue, Sunlight Yellow, Sunset Orange, Scuba Blue and Granite Grey. Moke International says customers will also be able to personalise their car to their exact tastes and sensibilities later this year.
Moke also says that used batteries will be collected by a dedicated partner and repurposed for use in other applications, like energy storage, or when no longer of use, recycled responsibly by specialists.