Land Rover is developing a prototype Land Rover Defender powered by a hydrogen fuel cell which will start testing this year.
Battery electric vehicles are dominating the move from ICE to EV, but they’re not the only game in town as car makers seek to eliminate CO2 emissions from cars (well, at the point of use).
Apart from synthetic fuels to power ICE cars, the main alternative route for losing tailpipe emissions is the hydrogen fuel cell, championed by Toyota and Hyundai and hailed as the best way to go as hydrogen is such an abundant source of energy.
But the naysayers say hydrogen-powered cars are nonsense because it’s so inefficient to extract the hydrogen needed to power a fuel cell stack, but that’s not going to stop JLR from joining the quest to develop FCEVs.
The plan is to develop a Land Rover Defender prototype powered by a hydrogen fuel cell and start testing it this year.
Land Rover says hydrogen-powered FCEVs deliver high energy density and rapid refuelling with a minimal loss of range in extreme temperatures, ideal for a ‘go anywhere’ SUV like the new Defender.
Of course, none of that matters if you can’t refuel, but Land Rover say the number of FCEVs on the road has doubled in the last three years (from a very low point, admittedly), and that by 2030 they expect there to be 10 million FCEVs on the road and 10,000 refuelling stations worldwide.
Ralph Clague, JLR’s Head of Hydrogen, said:
We know hydrogen has a role to play in the future powertrain mix across the whole transport industry, and alongside battery electric vehicles, it offers another zero tailpipe emission solution for the specific capabilities and requirements of Jaguar Land Rover’s world-class line-up of vehicle.
The work is part of JLR’s Project Zeus, part-funded by the government-backed Advanced Propulsion Centre, involving Delta Motorsport, AVL, Marelli Automotive Systems, and the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre and create the FCEV.