The electric Defender model is powered by a 94bhp electric motor twinned with a lithium-ion battery pack with a capacity of 27kWh. Despite a claimed range of only 50 miles, Land Rover says that the battery can last up to eight hours when used off-road, when speeds are much lower.
A fast charger gives a full charge in four hours, or 10 hours if using a portable 3kW charger. Regenerative braking helps prolong the charge of the battery pack, which weighs 410kg and adds 100kg to the overall weight when compared to the diesel Defender.
A major technical difference is that the electric powertrain is air-cooled instead of liquid cooled, saving weight and complexity.
In true Land Rover style, the electric Defender remains all-wheel drive and uses a modified version of Land Rover’s Terrain Response System that has been tested in extreme conditions. Land Rover says that the electric Defender has successfully pulled a 12-tonne ‘road train’ up a 13 per cent gradient in trials, and can wade to a depth of 900mm.
Antony Harper, Jaguar Land Rover Head of Research, said: “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”.
There are currently no plans to put the electric Defender into production, but the test vehicles will be put into real world trials later this year.