An English company called Electrogenic has developed “drop-in kits” for Land Rover Defenders that convert them into fully electric vehicles, the company’s chief design engineer told RTÉ’s Today with Claire Byrne on Friday morning.
The engine, the fuel tank and other related items in the Land Rover are removed and swapped for a 50kWh battery pack and an electric motor.
The battery pack slots into the front where the engine once was and the electric motor, which is fitted with a flywheel and clutch arrangement, goes into the original manual gearbox slot.
“It just bolts on and bolts together, it is very simple for the Land Rover mechanic to do,” the engineer said.
He added that the rest of the assembly involves some 12-volt wiring, which he said mechanics are “used to doing anyway”.
The jeeps were tested towing 1.5t to 2t trailers of both cattle and hay according to the engineer.
“We were pulling it up and reversing it up 30% inclines and it performed perfectly fine.
“You can do everything you used to be able to do and probably more,” he said.
He explained that the added benefit with electric vehicles is the instantaneous torque all the way from 0RPM.
“Pulling something off the line, which is the hardest part, now becomes quite simple and easy,” he added.
You can buy the kit from Electrogenic for £24,000 + VAT.
“You will need to find someone to install the kit or have the relevant experience to install it yourself.
“Installation is five days for a Land Rover specialist,” he said.
The jeeps can be charged in exactly the same way as any other electric vehicle.
“It”s a type two charger, which is a European standard,” he said.