Land Rover is testing a special electric version of its most legendary off-road SUV, the Defender for the 2013 Geneva International Motor Show. The British SUV manufacturer will showcase seven such research vehicles at the Show, which run on pure electric drive, on 5th of March. Land Rover may introduce this technology into their future models if the test results are as brilliant as expected. Since a couple of years, they have showcased the replacement for the ageing Defender called the DC100 Concept, till that reaches production, they will test the electric drive technology in the current version.
The electric motor which is being tested in the Land Rover Defender produces 94 BHP of power and 330 Nm of torque with a single-speed 2.7:1 reduction gearbox. Due to the huge amount of torque that stays constant at peak at all times, this single-speed transmission more than gets the job done. The electric motor is powered by a 300-volt lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 27 kWh. This battery gives a range of about 80 kms. But during typical off-road use at slow speeds, it is said that the battery will last about 8 hours.
The battery of the Land Rover Defender can be re-charged via two modes, 3 kW charger which does the job in 10 hours or a 7 kW charger that just takes 4 hours. The battery weighs quite a lot though, 410 kgs to be exact and is mounted under the hood itself. But the whole electric Defender weighs just 100 kgs more than the diesel version, ranging from 2055 kgs to 2162 kgs depending on the body-style.
However the best part is that the Land Rover Defender Electric retains the same tried and tested 4-wheel drive system and differential lock. There is also a modified version of Land Rover’s Terrain Response System which makes the Defender such a brilliant off-roader. The electric Defender has been tested in many grueling off-road conditions and it has come on top. This car pulled a 12-tonne ‘road-train’ up a 13-percent gradient successfully and has a wading depth of an amazing 800 mm.