Moke International is going all-electric.

Moke International is a well-known heritage marque in the UK and Australia. It used to manufacture modern versions of the classic Mini Moke, but now it's going completely electric.

It was the military version of the original Mini for those who aren't familiar with the Moke. No, seriously. Sir Alec Issigonis designed it, thinking it would be a practical light off-roader for covering ground quickly. Issigonis removed most of the bodywork and added the more heavy-duty suspension from the Mini Van to make the car as simple as possible.

The military turned it down because the wheels were too small and the ground clearance too low. We don't believe that's fair since a Moke is better off-road than a modern Countryman.

No, sir. The “not fit for military duty” excuse is absolute rubbish. We think the army turned it down because just look at it. It doesn't really strike fear into the hearts of your enemies, does it? It has more of an “I'm on my way to Venice Beach to score some edibles” vibe. Brigitte Bardot had one.

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Still, Issigonis wasn't put off and decided to sell it to the public, and it was a smashing success. Like the original Mini, it was always going to make a return as a heritage car.

The Moke EV is the next step in keeping the car alive. You can still order the ICE Moke, but from 1 January 2022, all Mokes will be electric only.

Moke International's EV powertrain isn't potent. It only develops 44 horsepower, but the car only weighs 1,760 pounds thanks to aluminum body panels. The original Mini with a 1.3-liter (1,275 cc) inline-four developed 57 hp and weighed 1,278 lbs. So the power-to-weight ratio is still not as good, but the instant power delivery should make up for it.

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electric vehicles
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electric vehicles

The claimed 0 to 34 mph sprint time is 4.5 seconds, which is relatively brisk. It's bound to feel faster since it's so close to the ground and so tiny. The top speed is 62 mph, and it takes four hours to charge it at a Type 2 charging point.

The claimed range on a full battery is just 90 miles, which Moke International claims is enough for five round trips between Cap-Ferrat to Monaco. That tells you all you need to know about the kind of people who will buy this car. The folks at Monaco are used to seeing cars like the Bugatti Chiron daily, so what do you do to get attention? You get a silly EV initially designed to be used by the military and bounce around in that.

The Moke EV can be ordered in left-hand drive too. Standard features include regenerative braking, power steering, and a heated windscreen. It costs $40,000, excluding shipping – a bargain considering that Swindon Powertrain charges more than $100,000 for a Classic Mini Electric.

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electric vehicles
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