What's the most indispensable word someone can use to describe an off-road vehicle?
Rugged comes pretty close. What about indomitable? Or tough?
All these words speak to a particular attitude and performance level often associated with 4×4 vehicles.
People also associate gas or diesel-powered engines with these vehicles, often used in extreme environments to take on serious missions. Think mountain rescues or fighting wildfires out in the wilderness.
However, at this juncture, 4x4s, like everything else in the automotive industry, must look towards the future. And like all other modern vehicles – if it isn't powered by electricity, its future isn't looking bright.
Unfortunately, the above statement doesn't bode well for the future of off-road rescue vehicles. Or does it?
Say hello to the Munro MK_1 Mountain Rescue Edition, a rugged 4×4-utilitarian-inspired electric SUV designed to take firefighters and mountain rescuers into hard-to-reach places for dangerous missions.
What The MK_1 Has To Offer.
The Munro MK_1 is the product of Munro Vehicles, a Scottish start-up company that's said to be Scottland's only volume car production manufacturer.
They currently produce performance, range, and utility models, all-electric 4x4s, of the MK_1. For those who are tired of SUV hard-top style bodies, they also make a pickup truck-style version of the MK_1.
Munro collaborated with an outdoor equipment company, Lyon, to outfit the cargo area to accommodate a stretcher, emergency gear, and recovery kits.
It can also fit three additional passengers in its cargo area.
The MK_1 is an undeniably practical vehicle; it sounds like it could be useful in just about any mountain region in the world.
But what about driving range and charging times? There aren't exactly charging stations tucked away behind rocks and trees out in the wilderness.
Munro reports that the MK_1's battery can charge from just 15 percent up to 80 percent in under 40 minutes. Its driving range is between 152 and 190 miles, depending on how favorable the driving conditions are. Supposedly, it can run for up to 16 hours when fully charged.
Munro says the MK_1 can also go from zero to 60 in a respectable 4.9 seconds. That's not too bad for a vehicle weighing 5,500 pounds. It can also carry over 2,000 pounds in its cargo area and tow an additional 7,700 pounds.
It's an admittedly solid EV 4×4.
But here's the thing: the MK_1 is no Sherp.
What's a Sherp?
A Sherp is what a beefier version of the tumbler from Batman Begins would look like if it were crossed with a monster truck. In short, it's practically indestructible.
It's a four-wheel drive ATV, a snowmobile, and a hovercraft all in one. The Sherp can traverse any terrain on land and float at any water depth.
It can even operate in storms, such as blizzards or hurricanes, and can run for 19 hours non-stop and only costs $7 per hour to operate.
So, while the Munro MK_1 is impressive in its own way, it still has a long way to go before it can compete with the best off-road vehicles.
- Expertise: automotive news, dramatic writing & cinema.
- Education: San Francisco State University, B.A. Cinema Production (2013), San Francisco State University, M.F.A. Creative Writing (2021).
- Feature-length play Bill & Jenna (2021) was selected for professional play development at Z Space in San Francisco.
- Over 1,000 automotive news articles have been published on the web.
Jarret Hendrickson is a writer. He got his start when he was accepted into San Francisco State University’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program in 2018. While earning his degree, his short plays, The Captain (2019) & Fight Night (2020), were performed at San Francisco State University's annual Fringe Festival. His feature-length play Bill & Jenna (2021) was selected for the 2020 Greenhouse Professional Play Development Workshop at Z Space in San Francisco. While studying dramatic writing and screenwriting, he concluded that Se7en is the perfect modern screenplay. He received his MFA in the fall of 2021. In addition to his interest in writing and movies, Jarret also has a long-standing interest in automotive news, which dates back to his picking up a copy of MotorTrend when he was ten. His interest in all things automotive really blossomed at age 15 when he test-drove the 1994 Volvo SE that would accompany him for the next decade. His ongoing interest in cars helped him secure his first freelance writing job when he was hired to cover automotive news for axeladdict.com, where over 1,000 of his articles were published. You can find him on X (the social media platform formally known as Twitter) @jarrethsfpa and on Linkedin. Jarret currently covers the daily ebb and flow of the automotive industry for Wealth of Geeks.