Land Rover Defender Goes Electric For Geneva Motor Show Photo:
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TMR Team | Feb, 28 2013 | 5 Comments

Its heritage stretches all the way back to 1948, but as Land Rover has proven this week, the old Defender workhorse can still surprise.

Heading to Geneva next week is the new (so to speak) Defender All-Terrain Electric, which Land Rover will use to showcase seven different all-electric drivetrains.

Developed with a view to a potential production model in the next-generation Defender range (yes, all-new), the concepts will be put into "specialist real-world trials" over the coming year.

"This project is acting as a rolling laboratory for Land Rover to assess electric vehicles, even in the most arduous all-terrain conditions," Antony Harper, Jaguar Land Rover Head of Research, said.

"It gives us a chance to evolve and test some of the technologies that may one day be introduced into future Land Rover models."

In the All-Terrain Electric concepts, Land Rover has turfed the diesel engine and transmission and replaced them with a 70kW and 330Nm electric motor, matched with a 27kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

The 410kg battery is positioned in place of the diesel engine, and while it's a heavy pack, the overall weight gain exceeds regular models by little more than 100kg.

Land Rover says the electric system will give the Defender a driving range of around 80 kilometres. A full charge of the battery can be achieved in four hours with a 7kW fast charge system, and 10 hours with a portable 3kW pack.

Regenerative braking has been optimised to such an extent that using Hill Descent Control, the motor can generate 30kW of electricity.

The electric Defender maintains its off-roadability through a modified version of the regular four-wheel-drive and diff lock system, and a single speed, 2.7:1 reduction gearbox is also featured.

Can an electric Defender do the job, though?

According to Land Rover, easily.

In recent tests, the company says, the All-Terrain Electric pulled a "12-tonne road train" up a 13 percent gradient, and waded to a depth of 800mm.

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