An all-electric Defender from Land Rover is another vehicle that would have been a surprise at LCV a few years ago – but that’s exactly what was being demonstrated at LCV2013. Land Rover has built a small number of electric Defenders, some of which are currently being trialled at the Eden Project.
The Defender Electric was tested on Millbrook’s off-road circuit and the results may well shock people. Overall, the control of the Defender was far superior to a diesel version, as the electric powertrain allowed delicate creeping over obstacles that wouldn’t be possible with a diesel engine mated to a manual transmission and clutch. The refinement of the electric powertrain is also superior to that of the diesel.
Perhaps most surprising was the wading depth – the Electric Defender is officially capable of wading to a depth of 800mm rather than the 500mm of the diesel model, which is limited by its air intake. As there are no engine components to damage by being submerged in water, the electric model can theoretically wade even deeper than 800mm – the main limiting factor being how much water may come through the door seals into the passenger compartment. The Electric Defender could therefore be ideal for tasks such as towing boats out of water, as well as for safaris and forward reconnaissance use with the military.
The Defender Electric won’t be put into production, one reason being that the Defender is finally nearing the end of its life. However, an electric Evoque is now being developed – see our separate Range Rover Evoque_e summary.
More of the latest low emission vehicles at LCV2013