Earlier this year Jaguar Land Rover committed to going green by offering electric vehicles by 2025, and switching to zero-emission by 2036. In pursuit of this goal, the automaker is working on a Defender that runs on hydrogen.
Defender of the earth
Jaguar Land Rover calls this zero emissions project ‘Zeus’, which is just plain awesome. The UK-based company has unshockingly received some funding from the Advanced Propulsion Centre, a non-profit focused on researching and developing technology for low-powertrains. The APC’s investment fund is partially contributed by the UK government, which seems quite keen to make EVs more attractive in that country.
Project Zeus aims to put Jaguar Land Rover’s engineers towards developing a hydrogen powertrain that meets the automaker’s standards in terms of range, off-road capabilities, towing, and more.
Hydrogen fuel cells release only water as emissions, so while they aren’t entirely neutral they’re still very green. They’re also quick to refuel and perform better in cold weather than normal fuel cells.
Jaguar Land Rover said in a statement, “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. The work done alongside our partners in Project Zeus will help us on our journey to become a net zero carbon business by 2039, as we prepare for the next generation of zero tailpipe emissions vehicles.”
While there’s no set date for when we might see a hydrogen powered Defender on the roads, Jaguar Land Rover has confirmed that it has a prototype version already, and will begin rigorous testing of the vehicle later this year.