Scotland-based EV startup Munro Vehicles has unveiled the pickup variant of its electric MK_1 4×4 truck.
The MK_1 is described by the company as being designed to be the operator’s companion and not just a vehicle driven from point to point.
Three years in the making, Munro co-founder and CEO Russell Peterson said, Munro designed the MK_1 around the people that would be using it every day.
“We launched Munro to fill the significant gap in the market for an electric-powered, four-wheel-drive, utilitarian workhorse,” he said.
Taking data from interviews directly with contractors and others in the field, Peterson said, Munro went through a comprehensive design process and looked at it from a different point of view that the vehicle must be fit for purpose.
“We've validated our market; we've validated our design philosophy, and that has led up to the Munro MK _1,” he said. "We wanted it to be a workhorse that could tow huge amounts of load and have a crew of people in it and to have equipment in it.”
Peterson added that it also wanted it to be something “cool,”
"This is more like a piece of machinery than a car, and what you get with that is a much higher quality vehicle," he said.
The reveal of the pickup follows the December 2022 launch of the Munro truck. Both target customers who operate in mining, construction, utilities, agriculture, and defense.
It has a peak power output of 280 kilowatts, or the equivalent of 375 horsepower, and 516 foot-pounds of torque. It can go from zero to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds.
It is available in three variants: Utility, Range, and Performance.
Peterson said the “Utility” model is for those who just need the bare minimum to get to work. “Range” attracts those who want adventure, such as camping.
Each has a 220-kW electric motor and 5,511-pound towing capacities.
The “Utility” model is powered by a 61.2 kWh battery, while the "Range" and "Performance" offer an 82.4 kWh battery.
The CEO said the “Performance” model, which carries the 280-kW motor, is for those who want to show off. However, he noted that there is a practical reason to have a “Performance” model, which is the ability to tow 7,716 pounds.
Also, the rear bed of the MK_1 Pick-Up accommodates a 2,315-pound payload.
Peterson said recharging the 82.4kWh battery from 15% to 80% with a 100kW DC charger takes just 36 minutes.
At full charge, the “Range” and “Performance” have a range of nearly 200 miles, enabling them to operate off-road for up to 16 hours on a single charge.
Eco-conscious at the start
Munro Vehicles is a relatively small startup located in Scotland and partially funded by an investor who only funds projects that to decarbonize dirty industries.
"Our motivator really comes from climate change and the state the environment is in right now," Peterson said. "It won't be just legislative changes and scientific and technological breakthroughs and new products that will help us with climate change. Overriding all of those things is going to be behavior changes that affect climate change."
Those behavior changes include perception, use, care, and disposal of vehicles.
"We can't just lean on technology and policy as a crutch," he said. "We have to start thinking about our misconceptions and preconceptions of vehicles."
Peterson pointed out that unlike many other OEMs that are producing EVs to promote their "sustainability" strategy, Munro has been eco-conscious all along.
“We're green from the start and our sole purpose is to build this vehicle, and we're building this for work,” he said.
Inside and out, the CEO says, everything on the MK_1 has a purpose. "There are no superfluous design features on the vehicle."
For example, there are quad LED headlights at the front, featuring two high beams, and two low beams on each side.
“This is designed so you can easily replace a broken headlight without replacing a whole cluster,” Peterson said.
Also, for ease of access, there is a sidesaddle storage compartment for a charging cable.
"We designed this vehicle around the occupants,” he said. “The interior of this thing is cavernous.”
According to Peterson, an operator can sit in the driver’s seat with a laptop on their knees and the laptop won’t touch the steering wheel. In the back, passengers taller than 6 foot 4 inches have ample leg room.
"That's five full adults and you're not elbowing each other," he said. "You can sit in the vehicle, and do your work until the weather dries up. It's a work companion."
In addition, citing other OEMs' use of leftover plastic parts, he said everything in the MK_1 interior is “premium material.”
“We focus on all the touch points, we didn't want any horrible cheap plastics," Peterson said. "Inside is milled aluminum or vinyl. The key part of all of this is it's built to last."
He said in a mining environment, a typical diesel pickup will last about three to five years before reaching a point getting beyond economic repair. It gets sold to the secondary market and lasts another few years before being scrapped.
"The carbon cost of that is massive because you produce something just to throw it away," Peterson said. "This thing (the MK_1) is designed to last decades. It's just designed to go on and on and on.”
Across both the truck and pickup models, Munro has already taken 200 pre-orders. The company expects to build 50 trucks in 2023 before moving to a new facility near Glasgow in 2024 with the ambition to produce 2,500 units annually by 2027.
"We're bringing vehicle manufacturing back to Scotland for the first Last time in over 40 years," Peterson said.
- Power: 280 kW (375 hp)
- Range: 190 miles (16 hours)
- AC charge rate: Overnight (7kW), 3.5 hours (22 kW)
- DC charge rate: 15%-80% 36 minutes (100 kW)
- Acceleration: 0-60 mph 4.9 seconds
- Peak torque: 516 ft.-lb.
- Payload capacity: 2,315 lb. (Euro-pallet payload)
- Max. towing capacity: 7,716 lbs.