Is this slow, beach-friendly electric car a worthy homage to a British icon?

e-Moke
An enigmatic New York-based company named Moke America wants to make your summer ride an electric convertible. We’re not talking about a track-honed sports car or a luxury cruiser, though. The brand has announced plans to sell a replica of the original Mini Moke with a modern twist.

The e-Moke, as its name obviously implies, is powered by an eco-friendly battery-electric drivetrain. It’s classified as a Low Speed Vehicle (LSV) by the United States government, and the specifications are mediocre at best — at least on paper.

The e-Moke’s main source of power is an electric motor that makes just 20 horsepower and 70 pound-feet of torque. To comply with LSV regulations, its top speed is strictly limited to 25 mph, and in some states it’s not allowed to drive on streets where the posted speed limit is higher than that. The original Moke certainly wasn’t a powerhouse, but the 21st-century version is as useful as a golf cart.

It takes anywhere between six to eight hours to fully charge the e-Moke’s 12-kWh battery pack. Its driving range varies between 40 and 90 miles, which is enough for a car that can barely exceed the speed limit in a school zone. At a steady 25 mph, covering 90 miles takes nearly four hours.

The brand’s promotional material points out the e-Moke is more modern than the original model in many ways. Notably, it offers occupants more leg room and an upgraded sound system, a boon for tailgate parties on the beach. The electric drivetrain also clears up additional trunk space, which wasn’t one of the carbureted Moke’s strongest selling points.

Buyers can choose one of six exterior colors, and they can work directly with Moke America to customize many aspects of the car during the production process. The company warns delivery can take up to 90 days, though it doesn’t specify where assembly takes place.

The e-Moke is on sale now with a base price of $15,975 before shipping costs and options are factored in, a figure that makes it about $1,000 more expensive than a base Fiat 500. Moke America expects deliveries will begin next month at the latest.

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