It's a 'Henry Ford moment' - a new E-buggy for overland domestic, sport and military use is being developed in Banbury
Mr Murray-Hundley - known as The Grumpy Entrepreneur - is passionate about cars and motoring. He has taken a stake in a new development - an electric Overland-E vehicle, to be built in Banbury and Birmingham. A truly 21st century innovation, 3D printing will be used for manufacturing parts. He calls it a 'Henry Ford moment'.
The investment in Kingfisher-Overland comes through Mr Murray-Hundley's company Pario Ventures. It aims to enhance the performance and endurance engineering side of the business in a future 'everyman' motorsport series.
The Overland-e was born out of a passion for overlanding and adventure which have been combined in the development of the buggy. A main focus is the development of electric endurance capability in an adaptable, practical machine that anyone can use and enjoy.
Mr Murray-Hundley said: "We are very excited to invest in this innovative electric automotive venture positioned to make an impact on climate but also to have impact on the local economy where the vehicle and engineering works will be created and provide jobs in the Banbury and Birmingham areas.
"We have been impressed with the progress to date and also the output of lessons learnt. I am particularly excited about showcasing third-party technology in what we do including manufacturing our own parts through 3D printing.
"We look forward to supporting the team to deliver on its plans and growth for the future but also provide current and further investors a roadmap to exit and deliver value back to them. Pario has heavily invested in the automotive and mobility space in recent years as we can see there is a Henry Ford moment that has happened.”
The investment follows a successful start to 2020 for the company building the prototype Mk1 vehicle in Birmingham and creating jobs for the local area. The Urban 2 and Explorer 2 buggy is to be fully electric, a public version that can be used for day to day or as a fun recreational vehicle at weekends and a tougher endurance version for military application - and also to help deliver aid and supplies to tougher to reach environments.
The Mk2 version will be complete and available towards the end of 2021 and will feature a removable roof, four-seater option.
Arron Rawding, Kingfisher Overland Ltd CEO said, “Overland-e are delighted to have this first round of investment and partner with Pario Ventures. Pario share our vision but also bring a number of areas of expertise and deal flow to the business. This enables us to push forwards on our target of building an Electric Overland-e and engineering works on performance and endurance for the more demanding markets from motorsport to military.”
Pario Ventures is owned by Mr Murray-Hundley and Kevin Doyle - a partnership that goes back to the pre Dotcom era. Between them, they have been involved with multiple NASDAQ IPOs, AIM listings, US trade sales and have a portfolio of investments across oil and gas, sustainability, automotive, technology, bars, restaurants and Fintech and investment in companies supplying SpaceX projects. They have offices in London, Brussels and New York.
Mr Murray-Hundley spent 80 per cent of his time during the first lockdown helping Banbury area companies struggling with the consequences of the Covid-19 shutdown.