Jaguar Land Rover embarks on project to develop hydrogen fuel cell version of the Land Rover Defender

Jaguar Land Rover has announced the development of a prototype Land Rover Defender using hydrogen fuel cell technology in a project funded by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC).
Jaguar Land Rover embarks on project to develop hydrogen fuel cell version of the Land Rover Defender
Creative Commons image from Unsplash.

The project is called Project Zeus and is based on a partnership between Jaguar Land Rover, Marelli Automotive Systems, Delta Motorsport, AVL UK and the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC). The project was awarded £8.7 million funding in 2020 to develop a zero-emission premium fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) SUV concept. It is targeting the development of a prototype Defender FCEV that intends to begin testing towards the end of 2021 in the UK to verify key attributes such as range, refuelling, towing and off-road ability.

“If the UK is to succeed in creating a net-zero automotive landscape by 2050 then we are going to need a diverse portfolio of technology to meet the varying needs and purposes of the vehicles we drive” said Jon Beasley, APC Business Development and Programmes  Director. “The Land Rover Defender is an iconic vehicle and has always had to perform a range of roles in different environments. Hydrogen fuel cell technology provides alternative solutions  to many of the challenges associated with battery electric vehicles, such as range, quick refuelling needs and access to charging infrastructure. Successful testing will provide a real understanding of the opportunities for the growth of FCEV production in the UK as we transition away from traditional internal combustion engines, which will in turn sustain or create jobs not only for vehicle production but also the supporting supply chain.”

Project Zeus is one of 19 hydrogen projects currently being funded by the APC with a combined investment of just under £70 million. It set out to develop a FCEV  with a class-leading high-performance battery, cooling system and control strategy, with all members of the consortium collaborating and adding their expertise to the project.  

For additional information:

Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC)

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