Automotive

Hydrogen fuel cell Land Rover Defender in the works

Hydrogen fuel cell Land Rover ...
Off-roading and performance in extreme weather will be key testing points for the Defender FCEV
Off-roading and performance in extreme weather will be key testing points for the Defender FCEV
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Land Rover is working on a Defender FCEV prototype for testing
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Land Rover is working on a Defender FCEV prototype for testing
The components of the Defender fuel cell powertrain
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The components of the Defender fuel cell powertrain
Operation of the fuel cell components
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Operation of the fuel cell components
Jaguar Land Rover believes that the fuel cell powertrain will provide the right mix of range, quick refueling and all-terrain/all-weather capability for the Defender
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Jaguar Land Rover believes that the fuel cell powertrain will provide the right mix of range, quick refueling and all-terrain/all-weather capability for the Defender
The Defender FCEV is under development and will begin testing this year as part of Project Zeus
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The Defender FCEV is under development and will begin testing this year as part of Project Zeus
Off-roading and performance in extreme weather will be key testing points for the Defender FCEV
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Off-roading and performance in extreme weather will be key testing points for the Defender FCEV
Land Rover will see if the Defender FCEV is up to towing loads
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Land Rover will see if the Defender FCEV is up to towing loads
Part of Land Rover's testing will see how the fuel cell drive affects the Defender's ability to travel long distances into remote spaces
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Part of Land Rover's testing will see how the fuel cell drive affects the Defender's ability to travel long distances into remote spaces
Cold-weather testing will be another critical area
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Cold-weather testing will be another critical area
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The Land Rover Defender is one of the world's greatest frontier breakers, exploring wild spaces that see little human traffic. As such, it's a natural candidate for a greener, zero-emissions powertrain that leaves those spaces as close as possible to how they were before it got there. That could be a battery electric to join the plug-in hybrid, but Land Rover thinks it might be a hydrogen fuel cell that racks up earthly miles, powers through extreme environments and leaves behind only water vapor.

Land Rover has already started development on a Defender FCEV prototype as part of its Reimagine strategy, which sets a goal of eliminating tailpipe emissions by 2036 and achieving net zero carbon emissions across its supply chain, products and operations by 2039.

Cold-weather testing will be another critical area
Cold-weather testing will be another critical area

Known as Project Zeus, the fuel cell research initiative sees Land Rover team with partners to produce a fuel cell vehicle up to the task of meeting very specific Land Rover-grade demands. The Defender FCEV prototype will be designed to explore how fuel cell technology supports key attributes such as long-distance travel capabilities, off-road performance, towing, and smooth operation through the full spectrum of extreme cold and hot weather conditions.

"We know hydrogen has a role to play in the future powertrain mix across the whole transport industry, and alongside battery electric vehicles, it offers another zero tailpipe emission solution for the specific capabilities and requirements of Jaguar Land Rover’s world class line-up of vehicles," says Ralph Clague, head of hydrogen and fuel cells at Jaguar Land Rover.

Land Rover is working on a Defender FCEV prototype for testing
Land Rover is working on a Defender FCEV prototype for testing

As previewed in renderings, the Defender FCEV will have transverse rear and longitudinal front high-pressure hydrogen tanks, a centrally mounted battery pack, front-mounted fuel cell and electric drive units, and a front intake for feeding air into the fuel cell to mix with hydrogen. Land Rover believes the hydrogen fuel cell ecosystem is well-suited to its needs because of its high energy density, rapid refueling capability and minimal range loss in low temperatures.

Funded in part by the UK government-backed Advanced Propulsion Center, Project Zeus is headed by Jaguar Land Rover and includes partners like Delta Motorsport, AVL, Marelli Automotive Systems and the UK Battery Industrialization Center. Testing of the Defender FCEV will begin in 2021 and focus on the powertrain's performance in basics like fuel consumption and more demanding driving tasks like off-roading.

Source: Jaguar Land Rover

View gallery - 9 images
5 comments
5 comments
gettodacessna
God these guys are depressing. They're like 10 years too late for everything - people are already onto full electric vehicles!
Don't get me wrong, I love Land Rovers, but they have gone so far behind the curve. Even Ford has a full EV F-150!
Isn't Land Rover supposed to be the state of the art?
paul314
Solar panels to produce hydrogen from water if you get stuck in the back of nowhere? Then you could always get home, just very slowly.
usugo
By 2030, EVs will easily travel 1000km between charges, and for FCVs the ship has already sailed years ago. They should focus on improving the EV powertrain they already have and expand on that, instead of wasting time and energy in pathetic publicity stunts that make them look like dumb&dumber
michael_dowling
Okay,I plunked down money for a new fuel cell powered Land Rover. Now,where is the H2 refueling station close to where I live to fill up? What do you mean there isn't one anywhere in St Louis??
Aaron MacTurpen
Good to see companies working on a diversity of options so we're not stuck in an all eggs in one basket scenario like we are now.