Land Rover has unveiled seven electric Defender models at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. The research vehicle delivers zero emissions whilst retaining its tough, go-anywhere capability.
“Investing in innovation has always been the lifeblood of our business and our engineering teams are working hard to develop innovative new technology to provide sustainable motoring solutions,” said John Edwards, Land Rover Global Brand Director.
The standard diesel engine and gearbox in the 110 Defenders have been replaced by a 70kW (94bhp), 330Nm electric motor twinned with a 300-volt, lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 27kWh, giving a range of more than 50 miles.
The electric vehicles (EVs) retain the Defender’s legendary four-wheel drive system and differential lock. Because the electric motor delivers maximum torque from the moment it starts, there’s no need for gear shifting.
In keeping with Land Rover’s ‘Tread Lightly’ philosophy the smooth, low-speed capability of the electric drivetrain makes the electric Defenders especially well suited to climbing obstacles without damaging the ground unnecessarily.
All the major components in the electric powertrain – including the battery, inverter and motor – are air-cooled rather than liquid cooled, saving a considerable amount of weight and complexity and adding robustness. Regenerative braking has been optimised to such an extent that using Hill Descent Control, the motor can generate 30kW of electricity.
“This project is acting as a rolling laboratory for Land Rover to assess electric vehicles, even in the most arduous all-terrain conditions. It gives us a chance to evolve and test some of the technologies that may one day be introduced into future Land Rover models,” said Antony Harper, Jaguar Land Rover Head of Research.
There are no plans for the electric Land Rover Defender to enter series production.