First unveiled at this year’s Geneva Auto Show, the Land Rover Electric Defenders were produced to research how an all electric all terrain vehicle would work in real-world test scenarios. The first Electric Defender from the project has been assigned to duty in the Eden Project in Cornwall, England. The 110 series pick-up will pull a four-carriage road train up 6% inclines hauling up to 12 tons of cargo and visitors around the environmentally friendly research site.
The Land Rover Electric Defender can operate for around 50 miles, with a 12 mile reserve on a single charge with its 27kWh lithium-ion battery pack. At low speeds, the Electric Defender can pull the road train for about 8 hours before it needs a recharge. Land Rover has gone one step further and added a second lithium-ion battery pack that will lengthen the Defender’s run time while helping with the truck’s weight distribution to increase stability. The truck is able to pull the road train with a single electric motor that produces 94 horsepower and 243 lb-ft of torque.
Land Rover is using the Electric Defender to test new technology like the hill-descent function that can regenerate up to 80% of the battery power. During each downhill trip made at the Eden Project site, the SUV regenerates up to 30 kW of power.
Gus Grand, Climate Change Lead at the Eden Project, said: “We’re very pleased to be working with Land Rover on this exciting project. 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, cheaper to run and with zero emissions at the point of use.”