By Zeus: JLR develops Defender prototype with H2 fuel cell

June 16, 2021 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
By Zeus: JLR develops Defender prototype with H2 fuel cell
Test operations of the hydrogen-powered Land Rover Defender, which Jaguar Land Rover plans to build, are to begin this year. With this development project, the company is presenting an important aspect of its new "Reimagine" strategy.

Under 'Reimagine', JLR Rover aims to reduce tailpipe emissions from its models to zero by 2036, while net carbon dioxide emissions from products, sites and the supply chain are also expected to fall to zero by 2039.

On the road to zero-emission propulsion technology, fuel cell vehicles can become an important complement to battery-electric models. However, it is debatable whether they can also be an adequate solution for smaller vehicles - the production of hydrogen is extremely energy-intensive, and in well-to-wheel terms the technology is considered to be less energy-efficient. Nevertheless, hydrogen-powered fuel cells have numerous advantages: they have a high energy density and can be refuelled as quickly as vehicles with conventional combustion engines. In addition, their range is only minimally reduced at low temperatures - in contrast to battery-electric vehicles. This makes hydrogen fuel cell propulsion particularly suitable for larger vehicles, designed for longer ranges or for use in particularly warm or cold environments.

The Land Rover Defender with hydrogen-powered fuel cell is being created as part of Jaguar Land Rover's research and development of future technologies. They are combined in "Project Zeus", a project co-financed by the government's Advanced Propulsion Centre. "Project Zeus" aims to provide engineers and developers with new and deeper insights into how hydrogen propulsion can be optimised to deliver the performance and capability expected by customers: from long range to rapid refuelling, from traction to off-road capability.

The prototype Land Rover Defender with zero-emission fuel cell propulsion will begin testing in the UK towards the end of 2021. The tests will focus on aspects such as off-road characteristics and fuel consumption.

As part of Project Zeus, Jaguar Land Rover is working with leading research and development companies. These include Delta Motorsport, AVL and Marelli Automotive Systems as well as the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC). They


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