Land Rover is trying its hand at zero-emission off-roading, and they will showcase the result of their efforts so far with no less than seven electric Defender research vehicles at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. Despite running purely on electricity, LR says these cars have lost none of Defender’s go-anywhere capability.
The electric 110 Defenders get a 70kW (94bhp) electric motor in place of their conventional diesel engine and gearbox. The motor makes 330 Nm of torque and features a 300-volt, lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 27kWh, giving a range of more than 50 miles. That rather sizable torque is essential to the keep the car’s off-road worthiness.
Due to the nature of electric motors, these cars have no gearbox as such, which means all the torque is available right off the bat. They do, however, retain the standard car’s four-wheel drive system and differential lock. That in combination with a single speed, 2.7:1 reduction gearbox makes for a hugely versatile machine.
One big problem these electric Defenders have to deal with is the weight. The standard 110 is by no means a lightweight, and with the 410 kg weight of the batteries added to the mix, it gets even heftier. It does lose a bit of weight due to the omission of the diesel powertrain, but at 2162kg the Defender EV is still pretty chubby.
The battery can be fully charged by a 7kW fast charger in four hours, or a portable 3kW charger in 10 hours. These are just research vehicles for now and Land Rover has no plans to put an electric Defender into series production any time soon.