Land Rover EV sneaks up on big game

Axeon fits a Land Rover Defender with an electric drivetrain for use in game parks.

Land Rover Defender EV
This Defender EV concept runs silent, so is less likely to spook animals. Axeon

The Land Rover Defender has been a mainstay for African safaris, but concern over the carbon dioxide emissions from their 2.4-liter diesel engines spawned the development of the first electrically powered Defender. Battery producer Axeon fitted a Defender with an electric drive unit and will show the concept at a tourism convention in South Africa.

The 28.8 kilowatt-hour battery pack gives the Defender a range of about 60 miles, three times further than a typical game drive. Axeon touts the reduction in emissions, going from the diesel Defender's 295 grams per kilometer to zero, and the electric Defender's quiet operation, allowing it to get closer to animals in game parks.

The battery pack has been placed in the engine compartment, maintaining the Defender's ground clearance and fording depth.

The next step: electric vehicle charging stations in safari camps.

About the author

Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET. Prior to the Car Tech beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine. He's also the author of "Vaporware," a novel that's available as a Nook e-book.


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