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Munro announces crowdfunding venture for Series-M. Image by Munro.

Munro announces crowdfunding venture for Series-M
Electric workhorse Munro Series-M apparently has approaching 250 pre-orders already.
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What's all this about?

Munro Vehicles, the Scottish electric vehicle (EV) company, has announced an equity crowdfunding initiative with global online platform Seedrs, with the aim of getting enough capital together to get production of its Series-M Truck and Pick-up 4x4s off the ground.

Munro, the first company to build light vehicles in Scotland in more than 40 years, says that any investment secured during the month of October will allow it to capitalise on a full, two-year order book, as well as hiring new staff and upscaling its premises to cope with the proposed production of the Series-M.

OK, but what's a 'Series-M' when it's at home?

The workhorse Series-M, which bears more than a passing resemblance to a classic Land Rover Defender - see the Ineos Grenadier for further details - will be developed from the Mk_1 prototype vehicles that Munro has already had out and about, working in the Scottish Highlands. The Glasgow-based company says it has listened to customer feedback from the field trials of the MK_1, putting into practice many of the design and technical updates for the Series-M that many people asked for.

The company wants to make its Series-M - available in the two utilitarian body styles - in a manner which blends the 'rugged reliability and repairability' of a full-time, 4x4 mechanical drivetrain with the zero-emission benefits of an all-electric propulsion system.

To that end, both the pick-up and the truck will be offered in standard M170 and high-power M280 versions, these numbers relating to their outputs in kilowatts. That means you can specify either a 231hp Series-M, or one packing a substantial 381hp if you need it. The company's Mk_1 prototypes had a battery range of 200 miles, or 16 hours of work more appropriately, while torque was rated at 700Nm. That meant each Mk_1 could tow up to 3,500kg of braked trailer, while having approach and departure angles of 84 and 54 degrees respectively, along with a sizeable 480mm of ground clearance.

But this isn't in production as yet?

No, but the aim is for the production Series-M models to build on the specification of the Mk_1, which the round of crowdfunding should help to develop. Russell Peterson, the CEO and co-founder of Munro, said of the Seedrs announcement: "We have already had significant interest from the investor community and are extending that offer further to entrepreneurs, private individuals and customers. We want to give them the opportunity to become part of the Munro story and take advantage of the unique solution our products provide and the significant imminent legislation-driven market opportunity the brand is poised to leverage.

"Munro has paid reservations and sales agreements for eight pilot vehicles in 2023 and 221 production vehicles in 2024-2025. Our immediate priority is to deliver Series-M pilot vehicles to early-adopter customers to demonstrate our product-market fit. Our production-spec deliveries will start mid-2024, and we plan to progressively ramp up production to 2,500 vehicles per year by 2027. So, with a full two-year order book for both the Series-M Pick-Up and the Series-M Truck, Munro's Seedrs campaign will offer compelling investment opportunities, expedite our growth plans and unlock scales of economy."

I see. What about this customer feedback you mentioned?

Munro has been busy listening to feedback on the Mk_1 to improve things for the Series-M. The vehicle now has a more streamlined and lighter front-end design, which gives greater forward visibility. Improved body panels mean that components can be more easily replaced, as Munro's stated objective for the Series-M is for it to be durable enough to provide 50 years' worth of service, provided owners partake of both routine maintenance and a series of planned refurbishments.

Another difference between the prototypes and the proposed production version is an exoskeleton mounted on the rear hard-top in Utility specification models, which allows for the easy mounting of necessary equipment - Munro is primarily targeting those working in the agriculture, construction, outdoor maintenance, disaster relief, rescue, mining and defence sectors with the Series-M.

Ross Compton, head of design for Munro, added: "Revisiting how some of the major components were packaged allowed us to enhance the aesthetic and technical aspects of the Munro Series-M Truck and Pick-Up. We have created an even more distinct design that builds upon the Munro name while introducing improvements to areas such as aerodynamic and cooling performance and efficiency."

And what about in-car comfort?

Other touches enacted on the EV include an adjustable steering column with steering-wheel controls, additional sound-deadening, better thermal efficiency for heating the cabin, improvement of the seat rake and height adjustment controls, and a full suite of safety equipment including airbags, ABS brakes, and also stability and traction control systems.

Munro has also installed a lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery pack. Ross Anderson, co-founder of the company and head of powertrain director, explained: "We have introduced a more durable, longer-lasting LFP battery pack that provides a faster 30-minute, 130kW DC rapid charging time. We have also significantly improved the thermal efficiency of the vehicle. Waste heat, scavenged from the drivetrain, can now be used to heat the cabin. Combined with more effective sound-deadening measures, the Munro Series-M now makes for a more comfortable travelling experience, whether it is being driven on tarmac for a range of up to 200 miles or traversing the most challenging off-road terrain in the world that it was designed to conquer."

Matt Robinson - 3 Oct 2023

2024 Munro Series-M. Image by Munro.2024 Munro Series-M. Image by Munro.   

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Thistle do nicely: Munro Mk_1 is Scotlandís tough electric 4x4. Image by Munro.
2023 Munro Mk_1
As well as being an eminently capable off-roader, the Munro Mk_1 is due to be the first volume-produced car built in Scotland in decades.

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