Land Rover’s first electric Defender deployed at the Eden Project

September 14th, 2013 by Land Rover UK

(click image to expand - image courtesy of Land Rover UK)

The first electric Land Rover Defender at the Eden Project in Cornwall (click image to expand – image courtesy of Land Rover UK)

The first of six electric Land Rover Defender began operation in July 2013 at the Eden Project near St Austell in Cornwall, England in an inaugural real world trial of its capabilities as part of Land Rover’s investigations into the electrification of all-terrain vehicles..

The 2.1 tonne electric Defender 110 towed a 12 tonne road train carrying up to 60 passengers around the hexagonal-panelled Eden Project domes easily negotiating 6% inclines.

Electric Land Rover Defender pulling the road train with passengers around the Eden Project (click image to expand - image courtesy of Land Rover UK)

Electric Land Rover Defender pulling the four carriage road train around the Eden Project (click image to expand – image courtesy of Land Rover UK)

The Land Rover Electric Defender, which was unveiled at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, is a pioneering research project into the electrification of an all-terrain vehicle.

The electric vehicles are being used to develop new ideas and investigate electrification under typical operating conditions.

The project forms part of Land Rover’s overall sustainability objectives which have included the move to aluminum platforms in the latest Range Rover and Range Rover Sport as well as the forthcoming Range Rover hybrid vehicles.

The vehicle has been designed to perform its duties throughout each day before being recharged over night for about £2.00 worth of electricity.

The electric Defender, which is 100 kg. heavier because of the lithium batteries than a regular Defender, was engineered in-house by Land Rover.

The vehicle has all-terrain capability, permanent 4WD, develops 94 bhp, and has a top speed of 70 mph.

The electric Land Rover Defender pulling four road carriages at the Eden Project (click image to expand - image courtesy of Land Rover UK)

The electric Land Rover Defender pulling the four carriage road train at the Eden Project (click image to expand – image courtesy of Land Rover UK)

The vehicle’s Hill Descent Control is linked to a regenerative braking function, where up to 80% of the car’s kinetic energy can be recovered.

Land Rover’s acclaimed Terrain Response system has been adapted for electric drive, offering a 50-mile range with a reserve of a further 12.5 miles.

The result is a vehicle that produces no exhaust emissions, can be used off-road at low-speed for up to eight hours, and takes 10 hours for the 27 kWh lithium batteries to fully charge.

‘Fast-charge’ technology can reduce the recharge time to four hours.

Under the bonnet of the electric Defender Land Rover (click image to expand - image courtesy of Land Rover UK)

Under the bonnet of the electric Land Rover Defender (click image to expand – image courtesy of Land Rover UK)

Jeremy Greenwood, Principal Engineer on the Electric Defender project, said the car was ideal for the sensitive ecology of the Eden Project.

In addition, the repetitive nature of the work will provide excellent data for future electric vehicles.

“The car has been modified so it now includes a second battery,” Mr. Greenwood said.

“That will allow it to work a full day at the Eden Project, but also improves weight distribution and stability.”

“In addition, we’ve linked the land-train’s air brakes to the foot pedal of the Land Rover, enhancing safety,” he said.

Gus Grand, Climate Change Lead at the Eden Project, said “we’re very pleased to be working with Land Rover on this exciting project.”

“It will be a great talking point for our visitors and proves that electric vehicles can be every bit as tough and rugged as their fossil fuel counterparts, while being much quieter, cheaper to run, and with zero emissions at the point of use,” Mr Grand said.

 

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