AN electric conversion kit for Land Rover Defenders has been devised by Oxfordshire-based company Electrogenic and turns the stalwart off-roader into a zero emission vehicle.
Aimed at the agricultural sector and landowners the conversion costs £24,000 plus VAT and Electrogenic says the savings to be made from running on electricity means the kit will pay for itself in four years.
The kit is designed to be installed by a suitably qualified mechanic and to be maintenance free.
It has been tested over the past 18 months at Worthy Farm in Somerset, home to the Glastonbury Festival.
The conversion sees an electric motor bolted to the Defender's clutch bell housing, so the vehicle keeps all its gears.
It packs 120bhp and 235 Nm of torque - comparable power and torque to the original diesel engine and the batteries are mounted under the bonnet giving just over 100 miles of range on a full charge on-road.
Electrogenic, which convertis specialist and classic vehicles to run on electricity and is based in Kidlington, Oxfordshire, says that the range is considerably more when driving off-road or around a farm.
As standard, the kit is equipped for 7.5kW AC overnight charging via a Type 2 connector and faster charging can be specified as an optional extra.
The Electrogenic conversion retains the original Defender's versatility and four-wheel-drive, while off-road ability is improved by the fitment of the electric motor.
Towing capability is also enhanced by the electric motor's instant torque, while dual-stage regenerative braking enables ultra-controlled, brake-free off-road descents.
Steve Drummond, Electrogenic co-founder, said:"This new electric conversion kit is a really exciting development for us.
"We do high-specification conversions for road-warriors, but this kit is all about giving landowners an economic, sustainable option."
He added: "It gives Land Rover Defenders - long a trusty workhorse for farms up and down the country - an affordable new lease of life, reducing running costs while enhancing performance and driveability around the estate. After an extensive development programme, in partnership with automotive experts at Cardiff University, we also know that it future-proofs the traditional Defender, readying it for decades of reliable, sustainable service as we enter the age of low-carbon agriculture."
In addition to the fuel cost savings, the EV conversion can also bring significant benefits in terms of wider running-costs. The electric powertrain is designed to be entirely maintenance-free, and operate for decades, while the batteries are similarly robust and good for 200,000 miles or more.