Land Rover has built seven all-electric Defender 110s as test-beds to explore electric vehicle components survive in tough off-road conditions.
There are no plans to enter production with the Defender EVs, according to Tony Harper, head of advanced research at JaguarLandRover (JLR), but the vehicles could be useful in sensitive areas such as forestry and game parks. One vehicle is in use at the Eden Project in Cornwall. The Defender EV can haul 12 tonnes up a 13 per cent gradient, stopping on way.
The project began in 2010 at the Londolozi Game Park in South Africa, which had a requirement for a zero-emissions game viewer and developed one of its Defenders but it had a top speed of only 40 mile/h. Land Rover developed a second generation electric Defender with a top speed limited to 70 mile/h. The vehicle can be driven for up to eight hours at low, off-road speeds, and is ideal as a game viewer or for work in forests and other sensitive areas.
The Defender EV can wade up to 800mm, 300mm deeper than a standard Defender. It can be modified to operate submerged. ∎