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Battery Landy gets job in Eden

2013-08-07 09:47

LANDY GOES ELECTRIC: One of the first six battery-powered Land Rover Defenders is hard at work at a 'green' project in the UK towing 60 visitors at a time. Image: Eden Project

LONDON, England - The first Land Rover Electric Defender, unveiled at the 2013 Geneva auto show, has started work at the Eden Project in south-west England.

The project is part of Land Rover’s overall sustainability objectives, among which are a move to aluminum platforms in the latest all-new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport and the forthcoming Range Rover hybrids.

The innovative 4x4 is a rolling laboratory to develop ideas and investigate electrification in a the real world. A fleet of six will be placed with organisations through which their performance can be assessed.

TOP SPEED 130KM/H

The Defender 110 Pick Up badged ‘All terrain Electric Research Vehicle’ effortlessly tows the four-carriage, 12 tonne road train carrying as many as 60 people up a six percent incline to and from the iconic hexagonal-panelled domes. The vehicle has been designed to perform its duties throughout each day before being recharged overnight for at a cost of about R30.

The Electric Defender claims to have all the qualities and performance which have become associated with Land Rover for 65 years. It has full all-terrain capability, permanent all-wheeld drive and a top speed of 130kkm/h. However, it has been engineered by Land Rover to test sustainable technologies; for instance, its hill-descent control is linked to regenerative braking and, overall. as much as 80% of the car’s kinetic energy can be recovered.

IDEAL FOR ECOLOGY

During each return downhill trip at the Eden Project 30kW will be fed back into the batteries and Landy's Terrain Response system has been adapted for electric drive: range 80km with a reserve of 20km. The result, Land Rover says, is a zero exhaust vehicle like no other: eight hours of low-speed off-road use is possible and it takes 10 hours for the advanced lithium-ion batteries to be fully charged.

'Fast-charge’ can cut that to four.

The cars' principal engineer, Jeremy Greenwood, said the car was ideal for the sensitive ecology of the Eden Project. In addition, the repetitive nature of the work will provide excellent data for future electric vehicles.

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