Land Rover Planning an All-Electric Defender With 300 Miles of Range

Land Rover plans an all-electric Defender with 300 miles of range 6 photos
Photo: Land Rover
2023 Land Rover Defender 1302023 Land Rover Defender 1302023 Land Rover Defender 1302023 Land Rover Defender 1302023 Land Rover Defender 130
Electric vehicles will conquer most market segments in the coming years, although many believe they are not suited for heavy-duty tasks. Hardcore off-roading is a segment that seemed opaque to the EV revolution, but things are set to change soon, as the off-road specialist Land Rover is planning an electric version of the Defender.
With the EV market heating up in the past two years, even the unlikeliest domains are set to benefit from choosing electricity as the decarbonization drive. What started years ago with small city cars like the Nissan Leaf will eventually conquer all market segments and create new ones. There are now battery-electric mine trucks working in tough conditions, and soon we’ll have electric ships and planes crisscrossing the globe. That’s why nobody thinks off-roading is an ICE-only affair anymore.

Even though you can only count on Rivian if you want an adventure electric SUV or truck today, the landscape will transform sooner than you’d expect. Jeep is planning an electric off-roader with Wrangler heritage, while Ford will also launch an electric Bronco with the eighth generation of the SUV. Even sooner than that, the revived Scout brand is set to launch an electric off-roader worthy of the name. As the battle of the electric off-roaders heats up, Land Rover cannot stay and watch from the side while others cut into its market share.

Unsurprisingly, as revealed by AutoExpress, Land Rover is also considering an electric version of its iconic off-roader, the Defender. Introduced two years ago, the 4x4 truck is due for a refresh in 2025, and our sources told us that the refresh would be more comprehensive than it’s usually the case. More specifically, the British carmaker will move the Defender on a new platform, allowing it to offer an electric version alongside the ICE lineup.

The Defender is currently built on top of the D7x Premium Lightweight Architecture but will start using the new MLA-Flex platform after 2025. The new platform supports fully-electric powertrains as well as internal combustion engines. Range Rover and Range Rover Sport are already built on the new architecture, and they are both set to receive all-electric versions in 2024.

Even though it will use a different platform, the Defender will keep the current body almost unchanged. Defender fans have praised the new design, and Land Rover would not want to change it too much. Although it will not look much different, the electric Defender will get new tech inside the cabin. Think upgraded infotainment and advanced safety-assist tech, things that usually come with a mid-life refresh.

There isn’t much information about the future electric powertrain, although the Range Rover is very close to launching. Nevertheless, technical experts claim that a 100-kWh battery would fit nicely between the wheels of the MLA platform, and a 300-mile (383-km) range is possible. The electric powertrain would also bring tangible benefits to Defender’s off-roading qualities.

Electric motors can be controlled more accurately in difficult terrain, and using multiple motors would enable seamless torque vectoring. Add to that the advantage of having huge torque available from the start, and you see why electric off-roaders will replace their ICE counterparts very fast.
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Editor's note: The gallery shows pictures of the 2023 Land Rover Defender 130

About the author: Cristian Agatie
Cristian Agatie profile photo

After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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