Jaguar Land Rover South Africa and Axeon Build Electric Defender
One of the more obnoxious experiences we’ve had in a lifetime of memorably obnoxious experiences was bombing through the narrow streets of Dublin’s fair city in a Land Rover Defender 110 van. Though not gigantic by American SUV standards, the old Landie positively dwarfed most cars on the streets of Baile Átha Cliath. In an attempt to make the LWB successor to the classic Land Rover Series models a bit more socially acceptable, European electric-drive specialists Axeon have teamed up with Jaguar Land Rover South Africa to build an AC-powered Defender 110 for use in the country’s game preserves.
According to Axeon, the pickup-bodied, 193-hp Land Rover holds enough energy for thrice the typical game-preserve cruise in its 28.8 kilowatt-hour battery pack, offering roughly 50 miles of regular travel with another 12 in reserve. The trick bit of tech is that the battery pack’s designed to fit in the Defender’s engine bay, rather than underfloor, preserving the truck’s ground clearance and stream-fording capability. It’s on display right now at African tourism expo INDABA in Durban, South Africa.