Land Rover built a working model of an Electric Defender 7 years ago

The Electric Defender project powered by a Tesla powertrain from ECD Automotive Design has been making the rounds on the web in the past week, but did you know Land Rover built working prototypes of the Defender and even served the British public in 2013?

Land Rover’s Advanced Engineering Team built 7 units of a zero-emission all-electric Defender in 2012 and displayed it at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. The ‘official’ version of the electrified Defender came equipped with a 70 kW motor that made a peak torque of 330 Nm powered by a 300V 27 kWh lithium-ion battery. At that time, the battery offered a range of just 80 km in a single charge, which typically took about four hours with a 7 kW fast charger and 10 hours with a 3 kW charger to be charged fully. Land Rover retained the off-road characteristics of the Defender with the EV getting a four-wheel-drive system, differential lock, 13 per cent gradient and 800 mm wading depth. The electric SUV was also kitted out with a modified version of the company’s Terrain Response System and was put in service at the Eden Project, a tourist attraction in Cornwall, UK where it towed the four-carriage 12 tonne road train holding up to to 60 people on a 6 per cent incline.

This classic electric Defender came with a very effective regenerative braking system where the motor, along with the Hill Descent Control, can generate 30 kW of electricity and can recover and store up to 80 per cent of energy. Mounted in the front, the battery in this vehicle weighs 410 kg and to save the overall weight of the car – the motor, battery and the inverter – were air-cooled rather than liquid-cooled.

At the time of unveil, Land Rover announced that it has no plans to get the Electric Defender into series production, and as a company, they were always looking to experiment with such builds. Land Rover’s first electric vehicle would be either be the standalone ‘Road Rover’ model or the next-generation Range Rover that is set to receive an electric variant.

Electric Defender by ECD Automotive Design

The ‘new’ Electric Defender from ECD Automotive Design combines the classic design of the Defender with the latest trend in technology. ECD’s Electric Defender gets an all-electric Tesla Motor Drive drivetrain that is powered by a 100 kWh battery pack. The battery offers a range of up to 354 km in a single range and can be charged to full capacity in five hours with a three-phase charger. The custom Defender can go from 0 to 96 km/h in 5.5 seconds, which is impressive for an SUV this size.

The interior of the modern electric SUV come fitted with premium diamond-stitched seats and the infotainment system. Customers can also customise their cars with several exterior and interior options. We’re still waiting to get an update on the price.

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