BRITISH ICONS: Electric Morris JE viewed as “ideal” for the UK taxi market

The Morris J-Type was a common sight on the streets of post-war Britain. The iconic commercial vehicle was utilised by big well known brands such as Cadbury and the Royal Mail for their deliveries.

Fast forward to 2020 and the unique vehicle has been re-imagined for the era of electric vehicles. Most intriguing for cab drivers, is that the vehicle may be introduced to the taxi market.

The all-electric Morris JE van was unveiled to much fanfare back in November, 2019.

The JE boasts a state-of-the-art, full electric, lithium-ion battery powertrain, along with its instantly recognisable styling, excellent functionality and a practical driving range for business and pleasure.

The vehicle benefits from a lightweight, modular chassis, making it highly adaptable for future derivatives. The combination of advanced lightweight chassis with a complete carbon fibre body makes the Morris JE one of the lightest Light Commercial Vans (LCVs) in the marketplace. As a result, the Morris JE claims to have outstanding power-to-weight efficiency which fully maximises the range of the vehicle. 

Much like the London taxi, the original Morris J-type has long been referred to as the ultimate, iconic British van. First introduced in 1948 at Earls Court, London, the J-type was the archetypal ‘big’ little van.

Exported around the world to over 22 countries, the original van has international recognition, and today many are still in use as ice cream vans and for food retailing, and are still used in film and advertising campaigns. 

Having secured the rights to the Morris Commercial brand name, the UK-based management team had a vision to revive the iconic and much-loved British brand with a series of all-electric vehicles, leading with the introduction of the new Morris JE.

Image credit: Morris Commercial Ltd

The JE successfully takes the essence of the original, iconic design, and reimagines it as an all-new, sustainable vehicle for the 21st century. With modern styling cues and cutting-edge technology, the company is committed to delivering products with outstanding design at their core and with sustainability firmly at the top of the agenda through its commitment to full electrification.

The project, which has been led by a highly experienced team of established automotive designers and engineers, has been a well-kept secret during the development phase, which has now resulted in a fully operational engineering prototype. Headquartered in Worcestershire, the project benefits from an established team of industry experts and consultants from across Europe.

Image credit: Morris Commercial Ltd

The new vehicle is not a replica of a 70-year-old design, but it takes the DNA and values of the original van and brings it up to date in a fun, funky and contemporary design. Eye-catching and stylish in a way that no modern, the Morris JE brings retro charm to the EV market, making it a unique proposition and hugely appealing to the taxi industry seeking a distinctive vehicle that will be noticed.

The Morris JE is a full BEV with a practical range of 200 miles. The Morris JE will be available to pre-order from Q1 2020 for UK and European customers. The first vans are expected to leave the production line towards the end of 2021.

The makers of the Morris JE see the vehicle as “ideal” for the licensed taxi trade. A spokesperson told TaxiPoint: “Following the launch of the JE, we will be looking at launching a minibus version of the vehicle, ideal for use in the taxi industry.”

In January 2018 Transport for London (TfL) introduced new emission based licensing requirements for taxis. All newly registered taxis must be able to drive a mandatory zero emissions range of at least 30 miles to operate within London.

Currently only two vehicles are available to the capital’s taxi drivers to buy; the LEVC TX and the Nissan Dynamo Taxi. Over 3,500 taxi drivers in London have made the move to greener vehicles since 2018, with many more set to follow across the UK as local authorities set measures to improve air quality and make taxi fleets more eco-friendly.

To view more options and for more information on the Morris JE visit:

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