Engineering a greener off-road vehicle
Land Rover has just revealed seven new electric-powered Defender models that they will put on display at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. These development vehicles from Land Rover aims to deliver zero emission operation while maintaining its all-terrain capabilities.
The standard diesel engine and gearbox in the 110 Defenders have been replaced by an air-cooled 70kW (94bhp), 330Nm electric motor that's powered by a 300-volt, lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 27kWh, giving a range of more than 80.47 kilometers with a single charge. In a typical, low speed off-road use it can last for up to eight hours before recharging. The battery can be fully charged by a 7kW fast charger in four hours, or a portable 3kW charger in 10 hours.
“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 electric drive Defender retains its four-wheel drive system and differential lock. Traditional gearbox is omitted by the carmaker since the electric motor delivers maximum torque from the moment it starts. Transmission now comprises of a single speed, 2.7:1 reduction gearbox combined with the existing Defender four-wheel drive system. A modified version of Land Rover’s Terrain Response System has also been incorporated into the development vehicle.
Land Rover has tested the vehicles in extreme environmental conditions to demonstrate the EVs capabilities like pulling a 12-ton ‘road train’ up a 13 percent gradient and wading to a depth of 800mm.
“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.
Although Land Rover has no plans yet for the electric Defender to enter series production, the seven EVs will go into service in specialist real world trials later this year.