Shocking! Land Rover Defender goes electric
The electric models are powered by a 94bhp electric motor that extracts juice from a lithium-ion battery pack. The range is said to only be around 50 miles but Land Rover claims the vehicle can happily run for around eight hours when used off-road where speeds are more akin to crawling pace than motorway cruising stints.> The new Defenders will also use regenerative braking to help prolong the charge of the battery pack, which adds a hefty 100kg to the overall weight of the famous off-road machine.
In an attempt to keep weight down, Land Rover has opted for an air-cooled powertrain rather than a liquid-cooled system. The Defender will remain four-wheel drive and, thanks to the brilliant Terrain Response System, will still happily tackle extreme conditions.
The electric Defender has already been tasked with pulling a 12-tonne 'road-train' up a 13% gradient and, despite the electric battery pack, can happily wade to depths of 900mm.
But Land Rover insists this is just an experiment for now and the British firm has no intentions of putting the electric Defender into production just yet.
"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.