Land Rover will launch hybrids in 2013 with plug-in electric hybrid ready to go
Land Rover will launch hybrids in 2013 and plug-in hybrid around 2015
Land Rover to launch first hybrid models in 2013
On 10th May 2010, Land Rover announced its future hybrid/electric car strategy. Peter Richings, chief engineer for hybrid technology at Land Rover, set out his company’s six-point plan starting with the extension of stop-start technology to automatic transmissions in 2012 and onward to full hybrids, plug-in hybrids and ultimately to fuel cell electric vehicles. Land Rover is reported to have upwards of one hundred engineers working on the project.
New Range-e powertrains
The new full hybrid powertrain, called Range-e, is being engineered for installation first in the Range Rover Sport followed by the Range Rover itself and then the Discovery. Land Rover have not revealed whether there will be a hybrid version of the new small Range Rover, the LRX concept, scheduled for introduction in 2011, but it would be surprising if it were left out.
Land Rover say that the launch of the new full hybrid petrol and diesel cars will coincide with the introduction of the new line-up in 2013 featuring the extensive use of aluminium and other lightweight materials.
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV)
Peter Richings went on to reveal Land Rover’s plan for a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). His team has already developed PHEV and extended range vehicles but is waiting until the market infrastructure is ready to accept them. Pricing is a key issue, as well as the development of charging point network for electric vehicles. In the meantime, however, the company is trialling five Range-e PHEV cars based on the Range Rover Sport model to better understand driver usage patterns.
The trial cars are powered by the company’s 3.0l V6 diesel together with an electric motor. In full electric mode, the cars can travel around 20 miles at a top speed of some 70 mph. Top speed in conventional mode is 120 mph and emissions are around 70 g/km. Land Rover are in discussion with utility company Eon regarding charging points, including a fast charge which will give an 80% charge in 20 minutes.
Introduction of Land Rover’s Range-e PHEV and extended range cars is expected to be 2015 at the earliest, with electric fuel cell cars a further ten years out.