Jaguar Land Rover to test Defender SUV with hydrogen fuel cell

By Ashika Rajan, Trainee Reporter
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British multinational luxury car manufacturer group Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is working on a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle based on the new Defender SUV and aims to begin testing the prototype next year.

The Project Zeus prototype program is part of JLR’s bigger goal of only producing zero-tailpipe emission vehicles by 2036. The automaker has also made a commitment to have zero carbon emissions across its supply chain, products, and operations by 2039.

Project Zeus is partially funded by the UK government-backed Advanced Propulsion Center. The automaker has also tapped the support of AVL, Delta Motorsport, Marelli Automotive Systems, and the UK Battery Industrialization Center to develop the prototype.

The testing program is designed to assist engineers in understanding how a hydrogen powertrain can be created to fulfill the performance and capability (like towing and off-roading) standards that Land Rover customers expect.

Fuel cells combine hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity without combustion. The hydrogen-generated electricity is utilized to power an electric motor. Because hydrogen-powered FCEVs can be refueled rapidly, have a high energy density, and don’t lose as much range in cold temperatures, certain automakers, researchers, and policymakers have campaigned for adopting the technology. As a result of the combination, electric vehicles (EVs) will be able to travel longer distances.

Several Fuel cell EVs, also known as FCEVs, are on the market today, owing to a scarcity of refueling facilities, one example is the Toyota Mirai. BMW Chairman Mr. Oliver Zipse announced last month that the automaker wants to build a modest number of hydrogen fuel-cell-powered X5 SUVs next year.

Mr. Ralph Clague, the Head of hydrogen and fuel cells for Jaguar Land Rover remarked that “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 vehicles.”

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