The Land Rover Defender EV is at work in quite an unusual way, pulling a 12-ton road train at the Eden Project in the UK. The Eden Project is a Greenhouse complex which houses plants from across the world and the bubble-type dome shaped enclosures are quite the attraction here. This Electric Defender is one among the six prototypes being tested at different organisations. The research project revolves around complete electrification of all-terrain vehicles for real world usage. With its 4×4 capabilities, the Defender pickup can pull the 12-ton, four coach road train having a capacity to carry sixty people.
The lithium-ion battery pack on the Defender provides a power of 94 BHP and torque of 330 Nm (from 0 RPM) so that the vehicle can go as fast as 112 km/hr. At full charge, it can run for 80 kms with another 19 kms as reserve. In terms of time, it renders its service for 8 hours during low speed off-road use. The advanced lithium-ion batteries take about 10 hours to charge. Fast charging technology is also underway which will reduce this time to 4 hours. The running cost which accounts for the 10 hour charging comes to around £2 (Rs. 188).
A second battery pack has been added so as to run the Defender all-day at the Eden Project. Besides, it helps in weight distribution and stability. A section around the complex is also inclined and the EV with all the weight can conquer the climb with ease. The vehicle’s Hill Descent Control is linked to a regenerative braking function. During the descent from the slope, about 30 kW of power is restored to the batteries.
The Electric Defender 110 pickup was unveiled at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show and the research so far has been very successful. The project also forms part of Land Rover’s sustainability objectives which includes use of aluminium platforms in all the Land Rover offerings. The electric 4×4 will form the basis for all related future products. The Electric Defender is by default 4WD configured, has all-terrain capability and a decent top speed of 112 km/hr. All this with no noise, zero emission and high economy in terms of running costs.