Jaguar Land Rover to start testing hydrogen-powered Defender fuel cell prototype
Jaguar Land Rover is working on a prototype hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) based on the new Defender, with testing scheduled to begin this year.
The Defender FCEV prototype will begin testing towards the end of 2021 in the UK – concentrating in particular on key areas such as off-road capability, which will very much still be a focus, and fuel consumption.
The FCEV concept forms part of the carmaker’s plans to go zero-emission under its Reimagine strategy; earlier this year, it announced that Jaguar is to become an all-electric luxury brand from 2025 while Land Rover will stop sales of ICE models from 2036. JLR is also planning for net zero carbon emissions across its supply chain, products and operations by 2039.
As part of these targets, the brand is exploring hydrogen fuel cell power. Its Project Zeus work is part funded by the government-backed Advanced Propulsion Centre, and looks at how a hydrogen powertrain can be optimised to deliver the performance and capability expected by its customers: from range to refuelling, and towing to off-road ability.
The project includes partners such as Delta Motorsport, AVL, Marelli Automotive Systems and the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC).
Ralph Clague, head of hydrogen and fuel cells for Jaguar Land Rover, said: “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. The work done alongside our partners in Project Zeus will help us on our journey to become a net zero carbon business by 2039, as we prepare for the next generation of zero tailpipe emissions vehicles.”