Land Rover designs electric Defender

The electric Land Rover Defender concept will be introduced in Durban, South Africa to showcase the next generation of cars that can be used in the demanding sector.

The electric powertrain has two benefits; the first is the reduction of CO2 emissions from close to 300g/km in current Defender versions to zero.

The second is the lack of noise emitted from an all-electric powertrain, meaning less stress for nearby animals. It also allows people within the car to get much closer to the animals.

However, the typical Land Rover off-road performance will remain, meaning the often harsh terrain can be navigated using traditional Land Rover off-road ability.

Land Rover, which is currently investigating hybrid versions of the Range Rover Sport model, teamed up with Axeon to create a battery management system for the Defender to replace the 2.4-litre diesel engine UK customers can buy now.

Range anxiety, says Land Rover, will not be a problem in a production version because the electric powertrain will be capable of travelling three times the typical game drive on one charge.

Using lithium-ion battery technology, the battery has been tested in a test facility and Land Rover says the vehicle coped ‘exceptionally well’, including stringent safety tests to ensure the technology is safe in the harsh weather conditions.

The adapted Land Rover Defender concept will appear INDABA, one of the largest tourism events in South Africa.

In the UK, the Land Rover Defender is a popular model with drivers looking for an off-road 4×4 SUV with a large towing capacity.

The Land Rover Defender is available in the UK from £20,000 at Land Rover dealerships.