UK firm designs electric Range Rover

Oxford-based electric technology form Liberty Electric Cars has modified a Range Rover to house an all-electric drivetrain and plans to sell it as a production model by the end of the year.

The Liberty Electric E-Range is, according to the company, the first ever all-electric 4×4 and has been designed to prove electric technology can be used in large off-roaders such as the class-leading Range Rover.

The modified Range Rover is capable of travelling 200 miles between charges – double the distance of smaller EV vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf, which will be released next year – and boasts a top speed of 85mph and 0-60mph sprint time of seven seconds.

Liberty is an expert in electric technology and is the first EV maker to introduce wireless charging to the Range Rover. The traditional combustion engine has been replaced by four on-board motors powering a wheel each.

An energy storage system comprises a 75kw battery pack with a lifespan of more than 13 years, making it one of the most advanced electric powertrains in the industry.

The Liberty-converted Range Rover has been tested in Sunderland and Newcastle throughout June and will be available to UK buyers first.

"We are incredibly proud to have proven our critics wrong and demonstrated the performance ability of our proprietary and patented, class-leading technology," said Liberty Electric Cars Founder and CEO Barry Shrier.

The Range Rover is proof electric power can be achieved in luxury 4×4 cars, and could pave the way for a range of similar vehicles from Land Rover. However, the price could be a stumbling block – it could be as high as £150,000 when it goes on sale at the end of the year.

Land Rover is currently tested a range of electric and hybrid technology, including the 2.0-litre hybrid engine seen in the lightweight LRX concept, widely recognised as the forerunner to the new Land Rover Evoque.