Land Rover is now conducting a real-world trial of an electric-powered Defender as part of the British carmaker's pioneering research "into the electrification of an all-terrain vehicle."
As part of the Eden Project, which is a multiple greenhouse complex that houses plants collected from all over the world, the Electric Defender can effortlessly tow a four-carriage, 12-ton road train that's carrying up to 60 passengers on a 6% incline.
According to Land Rover, the Electric Defender is based on the 110 Defender pickup and has all the qualities and performance that have become associated with the Land Rover brand, like all-terrain capability and permanent four-wheel drive system.
What sets it apart from a regular Defender is its hill descent control, which is linked to a regenerative braking function and can recover up to 80% of the car’s kinetic energy. During each downhill trip at the Eden Project, up to 30kW can supposedly be fed back into the batteries. Land Rover’s acclaimed terrain response system has also been adapted for the electric powertrain, offering an 80km range with a reserve of up to 20km. Top speed of the Electric Defender is supposedly at 115kph.
Land Rover added that up to eight hours of low-speed off-road use is achievable with the car, and that it takes 10 hours for the advanced lithium-ion batteries to be fully charged. Fast-charging technology reduces that to just four hours.
"We're very pleased to be working with Land Rover on this exciting project," said Eden Project climate change lead Gus Grand. "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 and cheaper to run, and with zero emissions at the point of use."