News : Electric Defender trials underway in Cornwall

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Electric Defender (6)

Land Rover’s Electric Defender prototype has begun trials at the Eden Project near St Austell in Cornwall. It will be performing general duties, as well as towing a four-carriage, 12-tonne road train in order to ascertain its usefulness as a working vehicle.

The innovative 4×4 is a rolling laboratory to develop new ideas and investigate electrification in a real-world environment. A fleet of six vehicles will be placed with organisations where their performance can be assessed. The Defender 110 Pick Up badged ‘All-Terrain Electric Research Vehicle’ effortlessly pulls up up to 60 passengers on a 6% incline to and from the iconic hexagonal-panelled domes. The vehicle has been designed to perform its duties throughout each day before being recharged over night for the approximate cost of £2.00.

However, it has been engineered in-house by Land Rover to test out the latest sustainable technologies. The vehicle’s Hill Descent Control is linked to a regenerative braking function and, overall, up to 80 per cent of the car’s kinetic energy can be recovered. During each downhill trip at the Eden Project up to 30kW will be fed back into the batteries. Land Rover’s acclaimed Terrain Response system has been adapted for electric drive, offering a 50-mile range with a reserve of a further 12.5 miles.

The result is a zero tailpipe emissions vehicle like no other; eight hours of low-speed off-road use is achievable, and it takes 10 hours for the advanced lithium-ion batteries to be fully charged. ‘Fast-charge’ technology reducing that to just fours is also possible.

Read our Defender Electric First Drive

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

17 Comments

  1. Well, somebody say something for goodness sake!
    You can’t can you – your batteries are flat!
    Ha!

  2. Quite impressive really. Instant torque will be a bonus when off roading, although not sure how electricity and water will get along when you go wading… Also, whats the point of the coolant gauge?

  3. I think it’s a great idea. I imagine some farmers might be up for them as well, as many of them only do a few miles each day to the cow shed and back etc.

  4. Great concept and more than just a vanity project! I wouldn’t worry about the electricity + water problem as they’ve already tested it and it can wade deeper than the diesel power version!!

  5. Clever but I wonder how many people will buy something like this….surly this will end up as experimental…. for the moment. Good they are investing and exploring different technologies.

  6. I have heard they are going to make a cordless version when the technology become available.
    The thing is, most Defender owners keep them years,ask any of them a good old 90 with a 300 TDi and they are as happy as a pig in shit.

    Referring to my vanity comment,what else can it be? the odd utility company may have one to extoll their “green credentials”. I doubt very much your average farmer would fork out (pardon the pun) for this when his trusty old TDi or Td5 will run on red diesel,parrafin or turps-especially if they are never off the farm with it.

    Fair enoug,Land Rover have had a go but like any fully electric vehicle they have a pitiful range and you cant rely 100% on them.

  7. @10. Don’t be so negative. All it needs is year long sunny weather and solar panels the size of a small country.. LOL

  8. Got to be a step forward compared to those silly, GRP-bodied, diesel-engined ‘steam’ locos you see hauling roadtrains at tourist venues.

    I’d be intrigued to know how the steering mechanisms work on those trailers – all three follow the towing vehicle’s path instead of cutting corners.

  9. Guys – you are all missing the point.

    4x4s aren’t called Chelsea Tractors for nothing, and where do electric vehicle make most sense ?

    Exactly !

  10. As most of our contributors will remember(!) on the 18th December 1898 good old Gaston Chassaloup Laubat (Gazzer to his mates) took the world land speed record twice in one day – the first at 39 mph and later (just before tea and crumpets (well it was in France) raised it to 65mph. Now, apart from a brief interlude of Steam a couple of times, an internal combustion engined Mors began an uninterrupted rain of that engine type until the advent of the jet engine.
    But Gazzer discovered something very interesting and basic. With electrically powered vehicles you have a stark choice – you either go very fast for a very short time or you go very very slowly for a long time.
    This is because our power source is from a battery. The same (yes, I know not exactly the same!) battery that we use today. With all the clever stuff going on today what we need to do is not waste another second of valuable time on batteries. In stead, we need all the clever clogs of the world to spend their energies developing a power source that travels through space like the Internet. It’s either that or develop really long power leads that don’t get tangled up!
    I’m thinking of burying my I Pad with this page on it. Then when they dig it up in 100 years time they will still be trying to get electric Landy’s to be useful.
    Dam! I’ve seen a flaw in my plan!

  11. I think Land Rover have missed a trick with this vehicle. It could have been modified to charge up for free using it’s own water mill generator. Unlike wind, solar and oil fuels a river just keeps flowing 24hrs per day everyday for free.

    You see there is a lot of power in moving water. A farmer could just park his land rover in a river facing upstream apply the hand brake, open the duct to his charging turbine to start to charge up the vehicles batteries at a fast rate.

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