Niche Vehicle Network

The annual award recognises outstanding niche vehicle R&D projects, which accelerate transition to low-carbon forms of transport. Hall Engineering and Design, along with partners EcoClassics and Pie Valley Buggies, was awarded the trophy for the outstanding MIKA Meon e project – the first lightweight, electric beach buggy. The project combined classic beach buggy style, with a high performance, fully electric drive train and a ground-up new chassis design. Bringing supercar levels of performance and proper sports car handling to the iconic style, this vehicle proves that niche vehicles can be lightweight, fun, and electric!

The MIKA meon e brings an exciting new edge to the niche vehicle sector with zero emissions. The 22 kWh battery pack placed low down and between the seats to give excellent weight distribution, a low centre of gravity and great agility. Combined with a modern 160 kW integrated electric drive unit the package provides superb performance, fun driving characteristics and a minimum 100 mile range due to its great efficiency. Rapid charging enables a full charge to be received in just 20 minutes. The vehicle is very lightweight at just 650kg and first customers have already been secured, following the completion of the project, for delivery by the end of the year.

Funding from the APC, delivered by NVN, has proven crucial in the ongoing development of innovations such as the MIKA meon e, equipping entrants with the resources to support innovation, from the idea stage right up to production readiness.

Scott Thompson, Programme Director for the Niche Vehicle Network, said: .

“We’re delighted to announce that the Hall Engineering and Design EV Beach Buggy project as the 2023 winner of the Nick Carpenter Innovation Award.  

The consortium have taken the style of a classic vehicle and delivered a ground up new EV vehicle, complete with new chassis, in a 9 month period. The resulting Mika Meon e vehicle is very lightweight at 650kg, which means it delivers fantastic performance without the need for a large battery. It’s been exhibited at the Goodwood Festival of Speed back in July, with a great response, and they are already working on the first customer specification vehicle, with the first customer delivery due before the end of 2023. It’s been a tremendous effort by all the consortium members to get an exciting new road legal vehicle delivered in such a short period of time.   

It was also encouraging to see that the project has led to another unexpected output – the creation of a new UK low volume vehicle component supply business. When faced with difficulties early in the project sourcing suitable brake system parts for the project, they decided to design and make their own, which has resulted in the formation of a new company (Stronghold Technologies Limited) to supply brake discs, calipers & parking brakes, not only for the Mike Meon e, but also for other companies in the niche vehicle sector. So the benefits and impacts of the project have a much wider reach, and it’s great to see a new UK supply chain option in place.”

Robin Hall, Owner of Hall Engineering And Design Ltd, said: .

“Hall Engineering And Design, along with our collaborators Ecoclassics and Pie Valley Buggies are delighted to have won the prestigious Nick Carpenter Innovation award from NVN. With NVN’s matched funding we were able to accelerate the development and launch of this exciting lightweight EV beach buggy, the MIKA meon e. It was a great honour to have the award presented by an industry great, Simon Saunders.”

The NVN Nick Carpenter Innovation Award was created in memory of pioneering Technical Director and co-founder of Delta Motorsport, Nick Carpenter, a key figure within the EV industry and NVN advocate. It celebrates the visionaries behind the latest cutting-edge niche vehicle design and sustainable technology.