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Eden Project adds first electric Land Rover to its fleet

Unveiled at Geneva, the Electric Defender is designed to offer the same off-road ability as its diesel-powered counterpart, including permanent four-wheel drive and Hill Descent Control. The latter uses brake regeneration to recover up to 80% of energy as electricity for the car’s batteries.

Using two lithium ion batteries, the car has a range of 50 miles with an extra 12.5-mile reserve. It’s enough for eight hours of low-speed off-road use, or to tow the land train up and down a 6% incline to and from the project’s hexagonally-paned domes for a full day.

Once depleted, the Electric Defender takes 10 hours to recharge, and can be fast-charged in four where available. A further five vehicles will be rolled out for trials across the UK through the year.

Jeremy Greenwood, principal engineer for the Electric Defender project said: ‘The car has been modified so it now includes a second battery that will allow it to work a full day at the Eden Project, but also improves weight distribution and stability. In addition, we’ve linked the land-train’s air brakes to the foot pedal of the Land Rover, enhancing safety.’

Gus Grand, climate change lead at the Eden Project, said: ‘It will be a great talking point for our visitors and proves that electric vehicles can be every bit as tough and rugged as their fossil fuel counterparts, while being much quieter, cheaper to run and with zero emissions at the point of use.’

Alex Grant

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