Land Rover Has Big Plans to Go Electric

Hybrid Range Rover

Land Rover has big plans to go electric, with the company showing off a new Range Rover hybrid at the Silk Trail 2013 expedition. As well as this, at the Geneva Motor Show this year Land Rover also showed off six Land Rover Electric Defenders, produced to test how electrically powered vehicles can cope in all-terrain scenarios. The first of those Defenders has already been put to use – it was sent to the to pull a four-carriage train that weighed 12 tons up a six-percent incline. The electric Defender did this easily.

The all-terrain electric Defender has a range of 50 miles and a 12 mile range reserve on a single charge, but that’s only with a single battery set up – if the Defender were to go in to production, it’s expected that the battery pack would be doubled or even tripled. This would also not only increase range but performance too. Testament to the awesome ability of electric vehicles, the electric Defender that pulled the 12 ton train at the Eden Project did so with only 94 bhp and 243 lb /t of torque.

So, this year, Land Rover have showed off 6 all-electric Defenders and a rather tasty hybrid Range Rover. The Range Rover is wonderful; it has a SDV6 engine and a 35kW electric motor. The result it a total torque output of 516 lb /ft and a 0 – 60 time of under 7 seconds. Impressive for a car of its size.

Elsewhere, Jaguar Land Rover have outlined plans to go electric with the Range Rover Evoque, the baby of the range. The Evoque_E project will see the input of 11 other firms and universities, to create three different Evoque prototypes; a hybrid, a plug-in hybrid and a fully electric Evoque. It is being funded in large part by the Technology Strategy Board and the total project cost is around £16.3 million. JLR are testing a number of technologies in these vehicles, with the hybrid testing regenerative breaking and the plug-in hybrid will feature its own petrol generator tank, not unlike the tech found in the Vauxhall Ampera / Chevrolet Volt.

; this vehicle has become one of the company’s bestselling vehicles, popular with regular motorists and those who live in rural areas. The Evoque shares the same basic platform as the Defender but it’s a much more modern car inside and out. An all electric Evoque would mean that the cars futuristic looks would be powered by a futuristic heart.

Overall, the steps Jaguar Land Rover are taking towards electric vehicles are exciting. The Defender has proved that an electric all-terrain vehicle works, and the inclusion of similar tech in the gorgeous Range Rover Evoque is very exciting indeed.

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