Following its debut earlier this year, the first Electric Land Rover Defender research vehicle has started real-world trials at the Eden Project near St Austell in Cornwall, where the Defender 110 Pick Up badged ‘All terrain Electric Research Vehicle’ tows the four-carriage 12 tonne road train carrying up to 60 passengers on a 6 per cent incline to and from the iconic hexagonal-panelled domes.
The vehicle will be recharged over night for the approximate cost of £2.00.
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 Electric Defender has full all-terrain capability, permanent 4WD and a top speed of 70mph and with regenerative braking function 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.
Electric Defender uses a 94bhp electric motor and a 27kWh lithium-ion battery pack, giving it a range of more than 50 miles. Because of the heavy battery (410kg), the prototype weighs 100kg more compared to the diesel powered vehicle.