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Hydrogen-fuelled Land Rover Defender set for testing this year

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Jaguar Land Rover said the New Defender FCEV hydrogen-fuelled car will be tested this year
Jaguar Land Rover said the New Defender FCEV hydrogen-fuelled car will be tested this year

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is developing a prototype of a hydrogen-fuelled Land Rover Defender.

Testing of the fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) – based on the latest Defender model – is scheduled to begin towards the end of this year, the company announced today (15 June).

“FCEVs, which generate electricity from hydrogen to power an electric motor, are complementary to battery electric vehicles (BEVs) on the journey to net zero vehicle emissions,” a JLR announcement said. “Hydrogen-powered FCEVs provide high energy density and rapid refuelling, and minimal loss of range in low temperatures, making the technology ideal for larger, longer-range vehicles, or those operated in hot or cold environments.”

The New Defender FCEV concept is part of JLR’s aim to achieve zero tailpipe emissions by 2036, and net zero carbon emissions across its supply chain, products and operations by 2039.  

The global number of FCEVs on the road has nearly doubled since 2018, while the number of hydrogen refuelling stations has increased by more than 20%. By 2030, forecasts predict hydrogen-powered FCEV deployment could top 10m, with 10,000 refuelling stations worldwide.

JLR’s advanced engineering project, known as Project Zeus, is part funded by the government-backed Advanced Propulsion Centre. The company said it will allow engineers to understand how a hydrogen powertrain can be optimised to deliver the performance and capability expected by customers, covering aspects including range, refuelling, towing and off road capability.

Ralph Clague, head of hydrogen and fuel cells for JLR, 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 JLR’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.”

Partners on the project include Delta Motorsport, AVL, Marelli Automotive Systems and the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre.

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Content published by Professional Engineering does not necessarily represent the views of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.


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