Land Rover Defender Blog

Electric Powered Defender Launched

A fully Electric Defender is launched.

Ben Gribbin

Ben Gribbin

May 16, 2011

Hello, I'm the editor of FunRover. I'm a massive Land Rover fan. Currently own a TD5 90. 2015 MR Blogger of the Year


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This product launch was nearly as quiet as the vehicle itself, as Axeon and Jaguar Land Rover South Africa have teamed up to produce a completely electric powered Defender. Based upon the High-capacity pick-up (which appears in press release photos as a 110 chassis).

Not just a fancy piece of trim, this is a fully electric powered Land Rover Defender.

The vehicles were primarily produced for use in game parks and nature reserves, to reduce the chance of disturbing animals, as well as to cut down on emissions. The rather bulky lithium-ion battery replaces the Defenders 2.4 Diesel lump and the system sits snugly housed within the engine bay. From the outside, this Defender looks just like any other safari Landy.

As this is a Land Rover, Axeon worked hard on keeping it's off-roading capabilities. Rather than mount the batteries and system low down on the vehicles floor, the team mounted it in the engine bay in a more traditional manner, thus keeping the vehicles ground clearance and wading depth as standard.

Other than the cinema style seating arrangement, flinstones roof and chair up front, this could pass for a normal production Defender.

Axeon also integrated a Battery Management System into the works, this constantly monitors the battery's state, as well as several key operational parameters and apparently works as a safety feature. This is critical on a vehicle that will often be several hours drive from the nearest charging point or workshop, or maybe just the nearest village.

As a result of this space-age retro-fit, emissions from the Defender have been reduced from 295g/km to absolute zero in one fell swoop. It also reduces road noise of the vehicle to a 'very quiet' level. The vehicle can finish a game drive with 2 more drive's left in it on a single charge.

Axeon continue:

The electric Defender has been received well by experienced Land Rover drivers, including those from the official LandRover Experience, and it has performed exceptionally well on the rigorous and grueling Gerotek test facility. In testing, the vehicle has also been able to get closer to animals within the game park due to its much quieter operation.

Obviously there's plenty of potential for a project like this and likewise a large demand. Companies may be able to cut down operating costs on fuel and emissions tax and others will favor the quieter operation. Let's hope that Land Rover consider offering a fully electric Defender to the consumer market, as this would shift the vehicle into the 21st century as well as banish the whole 4x4's are evil debate. However, as it's still only a concept vehicle, we'll have to wait and see.

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