The pioneering project has been announced by Land Rover South Africa, and has been developed by local Land Rover specialist Barker Performance Products with technical support from Land Rover product development specialists.
“The Electric Game Viewer Concept is the perfect synergy of the Defender’s outstanding reputation as the definitive game viewing vehicle, as well as our drive to reduce emissions,” said Kevin Flynn, managing director of Jaguar Land Rover South Africa and Sub-Sahara Africa. “The all-electric game viewer concept, has zero tailpipe emissions, thus offering a clean and silent operation, and reducing the impact on the highly sensitive environment in which these vehicles operate.”
Land Rover came up with idea after Londolozi, one of South Africa’s top game parks, expressed an interest in an eco-friendly game viewing vehicle that could also hold its own off-road.
Land Rover selected Axeon, Europe’s leading independent developer and manufacturer of battery systems, to supply the lithium ion battery unit in the concept Defender. The electric motor produces 59 kW of power, with a regenerative capacity of 10 kW. This is linked to an impressive 330 Nm of instantaneous torque, which complements the Defender’s standard permanent four-wheel drive system with differential lock. It can go 80 km on a single charge, with an additional 20 km reserve, the equivalent of an eight-hour game drive. It can be charged from a convention plug point or a solar charging unit.”
Source: Autodealer Lowveld June 7-10, 2011
Ideally, these electric Land Rovers should be re-charged using renewable energy such as solar energy. Many game parks and game reserves in Africa showcase a pristine environment for game viewing but neglect other areas such as waste water management, sewage disposal, water conservation and energy conservation. The electric Defender game viewer is positive step towards more eco-friendly game viewing. Game lodges should incorporate water conservation systems such as rainwater harvesting. Many lodges have thatched roofs making them unsuitable for rainwater collection but perhaps the game viewer parking bay roofs (usually corrugated iron- ideal for rainwater harvesting) should be utilized for collecting rainwater. Or, the parking bay roofs would also be ideal for mounting an array of solar panels to charge the electric Land Rover below it.
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