Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is developing a prototype hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) based on the new Land Rover Defender, with testing scheduled to begin this year.
The FCEV concept is part of Jaguar Land Rover’s aim to achieve zero tailpipe emissions by 2036, and net-zero carbon emissions across its supply chain, products and operations by 2039, in line with the Reimagine strategy announced last month.
JLR says that FCEVs are complimentary to battery electric vehicles (BEVs) on the journey to net zero vehicle emissions. Hydrogen-powered FCEVs provide high energy density and rapid refuelling, and minimal loss of range in low temperatures, making the technology suited for larger, longer-range vehicles, or those operated in hot or cold environments.
Since 2018, the global number of FCEVs on the road has nearly doubled while hydrogen refueling stations have increased by more than 20%. By 2030, forecasts predict hydrogen-powered FCEV deployment could top 10 million with 10,000 refueling stations worldwide.
Jaguar Land Rover’s advanced engineering project, knwon as Project Zeus, is part funded by the government-backed Advanced Propulsion Centre, and will allow engineers to understand how a hydrogen powertrain can be optimized to deliver the performance and capability expected by its customers: from range to refueling, and towing to off-road ability.
The zero tailpipe emission prototype New Defender FCEV will begin testing towards the end of 2021 in the UK to verify key attributes such as off-road capability and fuel consumption.
To deliver Project Zeus, Jaguar Land Rover has teamed up with world class R&D partners, including Delta Motorsport, AVL, Marelli Automotive Systems and the UK Battery Industrialization Center (UKBIC) to research, develop and create the prototype FCEV.