With gas prices rising through the roof all over the world, pollution dealing a deadly blow on the global environment, and fossil fuels quickly running out, we have a very strong need to develop vehicles that can run on alternative energy sources and produce less toxic byproducts. While engineers have successfully developed small automobiles that have begun to meet these new requirements, a problem arises when you need to develop economically, environmentally-friendly vehicles that are still large enough to tow around large families and their accumulative property while staying within a budget that middle-class families can afford.
Fortunately, Land Rover has successfully tackled this concept by showcasing their latest product of innovative creation: an electric-powered SUV. With the unveiling of its electric-powered Defender 110 research fleet, set to be showcased at Geneva, Land Rover has unmasked a new age in automotive technology. While not yet ready for the consumer market, the Defender 110 is capable of travelling 50 miles on a single charge and can be recharged in just 4 hours with its 7kW fast charger or in 10 hours on a 3kW portable charger. Powered by a 27kWh lithium-ion battery pack mounted up front, the Defender 110 boast a 94 HP motor that sees 243 FT-LBs of peak torque.
Thanks to its electric motor, the Defender 110 produces zero emissions, making it extremely environmentally-friendly and won’t cost consumers a dime on gas. Unlike hybrid SUVs that use a combination of an electric motor and standard gasoline-consuming engines, the Defender 110 relies completely on its battery to power this megalithic vehicle with virtually zero reduction in load capacity and off-road capabilities. In keeping with Land Rover’s commitment to “go anywhere” vehicle design, the Defender 110 is perfectly suited for tasks like rock climbing and automatically adjusting itself to new terrains. Basic testing regimens on the Defender 110 consisted of towing a 24,000-pound “road-train” and wading through 31.5” of water; incredible feats for a vehicle that uses absolutely no fuel.
While the Defender 110 isn’t exactly the most luxurious vehicle around and is still a few milestones away from being commercially available as a family car, its box-shaped design resembles that of a HUMVEE and may allow military and research teams to conduct missions at a fraction of the cost of gasoline-based vehicles. Currently, Land Rover has unveiled 7 Defender 110s and is striving to perfect the vehicle even further so that it may one day be the electric-powered SUV that the automobile industry has been attempting to produce for nearly a decade.
Although the Defender 110 isn’t yet suitable for commercial use, Land Rover’s breakthroughs in creating this astonishing vehicle may pave the way for newer designs and future technologies that will allow all vehicles, SUVs and sports cars alike, to become completely independent of fossil fuels and help to bring our environment back to the way nature intended. This accomplishment in innovation simply serves as evidence that ingenuity, hard work, and dedication can make any concept a reality.
Kate Thompson is a banker who enjoys writing in her free time. She spends weekends contributing to the community paper or scouting for cool Range Rover accessories.