Land Rover Defender with hydrogen, the first tests by the end of the year

Land Rover Defender with hydrogen, the first tests by the end of the year

Land Rover Defender with hydrogen

The Jaguar Land Rover group will begin testing the new hydrogen Defender prototype in a few months, powered by an engine that uses fuel cell technology. It's called 'Project Zeus', and it's part of the program the company has implemented that aims to bring tailpipe emissions to zero by 2036, a key step in the strategy presented by CEO Thierry Bolloré a few months ago.

'Reimagine', imagine again, is the name of the change strategy developed by Jaguar Land Rover, which will lead to the birth of the company's first FCEV (Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle): JLD aims to create a catalog of offers of new generation and complementary to each other, with vehicles powered by different engines and fuels.

In the case of hydrogen with fuel cell technology, the advantages compared toa> electric are evident: the refueling times of fuel are significantly lower than the charging times of an electric vehicle, and performance - especially in terms of mileage - remains unchanged even in low temperatures. On the other hand, it is a more difficult and expensive technology to implement, just as it is more difficult and expensive to install a hydrogen filling station rather than an electric charging station.

The new Defender FCEV will have to be tested in the real world to understand if its characteristics are compatible with those requested by the market, also with regard to off-road skills. The Zeus project is partially funded by the Advanced Propulsion Center - a non-profit government center that facilitates the research and development of new mobility technologies - and by engineering companies such as Delta Motorsport, AVL and Marelli Automotive Systems.

Jaguar Land Rover currently predicts that at least 10,000 hydrogen refueling stations will be needed by 2030 to serve a fleet of 10 million Fuel Cell Electric vehicles.

Land Rover Is Developing a Hydrogen Fuel Cell Defender Prototype

Photo credit: Land Rover

Land Rover revealed Monday it plans to develop a hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) prototype based on its rugged Defender SUV. Testing of the vehicle is set to begin toward the end of 2021, though the company did not confirm whether it plans to create a production variant down the line.

According to a press release, Land Rover says this new prototype is part of the company's goal of achieving zero tailpipe emissions by the year 2036. Hydrogen fuel cell EVs use hydrogen to generate electricity which, in turn, powers an electric motor. Though they aren't as popular as pure electric vehicles, the ability to rapidly refuel and the minimal loss of range in low temperatures means FCEVs do have a handful of advantages over purely electric vehicles, especially larger ones that require long-range capabilities.

The number of fuel-cell-powered vehicles on the road has nearly doubled since 2018, according to Land Rover, while fueling stations are up over 20 percent. By 2030, forecasts predict there could be over 10 million FCEV vehicles on the road, and 10,000 fueling stations worldwide.

Photo credit: Land Rover

“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,' Jaguar Land Rover head of hydrogen and fuel cells Ralph Clague said in a statement.

Would you be interested in owning a hydrogen fuel cell-powered Land Rover? Would you prefer one over a purely electric variant? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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