Hydrogen-powered Land Rover Defender prototype in the works

Tuhin Guha Updated: June 15, 2021, 09:46 AM IST

Jaguar Land Rover has begun development of the hydrogen fuel-cell-powered version of the Land Rover Defender. The prototype FCEV Defender will begin testing later this year although there is no word yet on this version making it to production. This is the latest effort at meeting Jaguar Land Rover's ambitious electrification plans which aims for zero tailpipe emissions by 2036, and net zero carbon emissions across the company's supply chain, products and operations by 2039. Jaguar's move to becoming an all-electric brand from 2025 and the first of many Land Rover EVs coming in 2024 are other facets of this plan.

The hydrogen-powered Land Rover Defender, termed Project Zeus internally, is being partly funded by the UK government through the Advanced Propulsion Centre. The goal being to understand how a hydrogen powertrain can be optimised to deliver the performance and capability expected of a 4x4 across aspects ranging from range to refuelling as well as towing to off-road ability. Land Rover has tied up with some large component makers for the development of this project which includes Delta Motorsport, AVL, Marelli Automotive Systems and the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC).

The Land Rover Defender is available with a wide range of powertrain options globally that includes 4 and 6-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, a plug-in hybrid as well as a range-topping V8. In India, the Defender can be had with the P300 petrol that uses a 2.0-litre turbo to make 300PS and 400 Nm, the P400 that uses an inline-6 3.0-litre turbo petrol for 400PS and 550 Nm and the D300 that uses a new inline-6 diesel for 300PS and 650 Nm. Prices start from Rs 76.57 lakh, ex-showroom. Read our review of the Land Rover Defender here.

Price (Ex-Delhi)
Starts Rs 73.98 Lakhs
Max Power(ps)
Max Torque(Nm)

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