MOKE International is returning to America after 40 years with their more powerful and highway-legal Electric MOKE Californian. This is a zero-emissions re-imagination of the original 1964 Mini Moke.
The Electric MOKE Californian is hand-crafted in the United Kingdom to the same high specifications and standards as the Electric MOKE that recently went on sale in Europe.
This new electric vehicle (EV) is a US-specific tribute to the 1977 Moke Californian – an uprated version of the Mini Moke that was sold in America and ceased production in 1982.
This is the first time a genuine version of the original Mini Moke has gone on sale in the US in more than four decades. Plus, it’s the first time a highway-legal version of the original Mini Moke has been available in America, with a top speed of 50mph (80kph).
Fully charged, the Electric MOKE Californian offers a range of 80 miles (120km). This is enough to cruise Route 101 down to Malibu Beach from Santa Barbara. A full charge takes four hours on a US Type 1 charger.
Isobel Dando, MOKE International CEO, said: “This is a momentous time for MOKE International. It’s great to be able to offer the US market a genuine MOKE car for the first time in 40 years.
“The original Moke Californian represented an incredibly important chapter in the company’s rich history. We are proud that the MOKE lives on and can be enjoyed in the electric era.”
The new Electric MOKE California continues the legacy of the legendary Mini Moke but is reinvented for the electric era. The Mini Moke was born in the heartland of Britain’s automotive industry, created by the father of the Mini, Sir Alec Issigonis.
With prototypes built by the British Motor Corporation in 1959, developed under the codename ‘The Buckboard’, the Mini Moke was originally intended to be a lightweight military vehicle. It could be parachuted into war zones and help troops traverse rough ground quickly.
Marketed domestically as a utility wagon for farmers and workers, it quickly found legions of fans across the globe, especially in the South of France and Australia. Its rugged nature and open-top design made it the ultimate beach shuttle.
Countless admirers including The Beatles, The Beach Boys and Brigitte Bardot were all seen driving the Mini Moke in glamourous locations like the French Riviera and the Caribbean.
While there were many variants of the original Mini Moke made before production ceased in 1993, perhaps the most exciting and desirable was the Moke Californian. This was sold in the US from 1977-1982.
Styling-wise, it was a departure from the Mini Moke’s utilitarian look which made it popular with a young, fashion-conscious crowd in sun-drenched locations like Playa del Rey and Cayucos.
Earlier this year, MOKE International agreed to sell up to 100 per cent of its shareholdings to EV Technology Group (EVTG), which specialises in electrifying iconic automotive brands.
Further details on when the Californian will go on sale in the US, as well as pricing, will follow in the coming weeks.