Rare are the 100% French automobile adventures in these complicated times for the automobile. But through all the crises, the success of French myths such as the 2CV seems unchanging. This is probably what prompted the Méhari Loisirs garage to do more than “simple” Méhari restoration. Near Pouzin, in Ardèche, Méhari Loisirs decided to found MLT-Automotive in 2016, a company specializing in electric Méhari… production. You will probably support this model also exists at Citroën, but here everything is different. First, it is a true visual copy of the original, unlike the car produced by the chevron brand which is a more modern inspiration and interpretation. Secondo, MLT Automotive’s Méhari, baptized E-Story, is not a motor vehicle. It is a heavy quadricycle, which allows the company to avoid costly formalities for homologation.
Méhari first, then 2CV
MLT Automotive has been marketing its electric Méhari for some time now, which is now the focus of the Berrezai group, Citroën distributor in western France. It is the first to take an interest in MLT Automotive, which until now only included a list of distributors specializing in leisure. Berrezai will market the E-Story in its dealerships in the meantime the arrival of the electric 2CVs planned by MLT Automotive which remains a small structure of about ten people producing about fifteen cars per month, in a very artisanal way.
The company starts from a box of Méhari but everything else is specific. The twin-cylinder is replaced by a 20 hp electric motor designed and produced on site. The motor is connected to the wheels via a simple reducer. Braking energy recovery fills the small LFP battery pack displaying 13.5 kWh. MLT Automotive speaks of a range of around 110 km, but on the WMTC cycle, motorcycle homologation test. Very different, therefore, from the WLTP cycle used for traditional cars.
The E-Story is not a transformation, nor an adaptation of the famous #Mehari from Citroën, but a completely new, modern and comfortable vehicle designed and manufactured in France. And it’s available at #noirmoutier at Gendron Plaisance!#vendeehttps://t.co/yJ400cAUic
—Neptune FM (@NeptuneFM85) April 15, 2022
For the rest, it’s classic with the ABS body of the Méhari, the galvanized steel chassis and the wheels treated against corrosion. MLT Automotive offers three bodies including the two-door, the pick-up (with 350 kg load capacity) and an unprecedented three-door version registered by the company. The only concessions made to modernity are the presence of power steering, LED lights and a small digital screen on the dashboard. But apart from that, this quadricycle capable of reaching 90 km/h is identical to the original model, less noise.
MLT Automotive’s schedule is now busy with the arrival of an “E-Classic 2CV” electric 2CV designed on the basis of the AZ model from the 1950s, with a range of up to 250 km. Exact pricing and customization offers are not yet known, but the company says pre-orders are open.
No need for B license, but high price
The E-Story does not require a B license, a simple B1 license is sufficient, from the age of 16, to drive this electric vehicle which should be especially popular by the sea, and with certain rental companies. In addition, as it is a heavy quadricycle, the gray card is free and the technical control is not necessary. So is the E-Story the perfect Méhari of the 21st century? It could be, but the price bites: €27,990. And it can get even heavier with the full cover, the driving modes, the fast charger, the Marina finish or even the wooden steering wheel and the speakers which are optional.