2011 Geneva Motor Show Preview: Electric Range_e

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 16, 2011

Land Rover announced today that at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show it will bring the Range_e, the firm’s diesel hybrid plug-in prototype. The car is based on the Range Rover Sport and uses a 3.0-litre TDV6 diesel with an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission. As expected, the car also features a plug-in parallel diesel hybrid system it offers a premium SUV that can run as a pure electric vehicle. The car has an EV range of 32 km, a top speed of around 193 km/h and an impressive range of 1112 km. The 'Range_e' is the first capable 4WD model from Land Rover to achieve 89g of CO2.

The 2011 Geneva Motor Show will also see the Range Rover Autobiography Ultimate Edition a.k.a. the most luxurious Range Rover ever, featuring hand crafted soft feel leathers, a yacht inspired teak floor and rear cabin iPads as standard.

Moreover, Land Rover will also bring the 2011 Discovery 4 Limited Editions with Black and White theme which will bring a fresh, more contemporary sense of design to the latest Discovery 4 line-up. The latest addition to Land Rover’s Geneva booth will be the Evoque, and the company said that it will announce full European pricing and will show a range of exciting options available.

Much like the Range Rover Sport, the Land Rover Range_e has a mechanical locking center differential, front and rear differentials, and transmission with low and high range. This is because the Range_e has been engineered to have the same full four-wheel drive capability as the Range Rover Sport.

Depending on what is required by the driver, the intelligent system equipped in the vehicle can determine what the best method is in order to provide the needed power, whether it’s diesel, electric, or both. When applying the brakes, energy is often wasted through heat and this is why the Range_e also has regenerative braking in order to recapture that energy. Once collected, the energy can then be used to drive the vehicle and thus lower consumption of fossil fuel.

According to Land Rover Global Brand Director John Edwards, this system is a good example of a premium plug-in hybrid that manages to deliver the 4WD capability that customers want from a Land Rover. The system is an evolution of the brand’s production objective of a diesel-electric hybrid technology, he added.

This technology, he continued, will be part of the brand’s next generation SUVs and will be available to customers within two years. The Technology Strategy Board of the U.K. Government currently supports different Land Rover-related projects with the Range_e being one of them.

At present, there are five prototype models that are part of the test program of the Coventry and Birmingham Low Emissions Demonstrators (CABLED) group. The brand hopes that its plug-in hybrid technology will enter the market in the near future, especially after its first diesel-electric hybrid models debuted in 2013.

Chief Engineer Hybrids Pete Richings shared that the Range_e fleet trial began last December 2010 and a total of 12,000 miles have been covered between the brand’s five test vehicles. The brand continues to gather important real world data that will allow it to refine the technology prior to introducing a production version, Richings revealed.

The brand also disclosed that it recognizes the importance of working on the different factors that affect its CO2 footprint like improving the efficiency of the powertrain, lowering the mechanical losses, and reducing its weight. This hybrid technology is just one part of its research and development.

Jaguar Land Rover has in fact agreed to spend as much as £800 million on environment-related technologies with the goal of lowering its fleet average CO2 emissions by 25% from 2008 to 2012.

Press Release

Land Rover Range_e

Land Rover's on-going commitment to building vehicles that are more fuel and emissions-efficient reaches another milestone at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show with the first presentation of Land Rover Range_e. This development model is equipped with an advanced plug-in hybrid diesel-electric powertrain that Land Rover expects to make available in future production models, following the scheduled launch of its diesel-electric hybrid in 2013.

Land Rover Range_e is based on the Range Rover Sport and uses the current 245PS 3.0-litre TDV6 diesel engine, working with an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission and a 69kW electric motor. Using a parallel hybrid system, with a 14.2kW/h lithium-ion battery that can be recharged from an external 240V power source, Land Rover Range_e can be driven on electric power alone for more than 20 miles, with zero harmful tailpipe emissions.

A full recharge from a standard domestic power supply can be accomplished in around four hours. Typically the majority of European car drivers cover less than 25 miles a day and therefore the EV range offered by this technology will support the majority of short urban journeys, where fuel economy and emissions are of prime concern. However, for longer journeys the diesel hybrid drivetrain will engage and continually optimise CO2 emissions.

Overall CO2 emissions are just 89g/km, yet Land Rover Range_e has a maximum system output of 339PS and a top speed of around 120mph, delivering a fuel economy of 85mpg. Improved fuel efficiency from the hybrid system makes 690 miles possible on a full tank of fuel.

Land Rover Range_e is also engineered with the same full 4WD capability as the standard Range Rover Sport, with high and low range in the transmission, front and rear differentials and a mechanical locking centre differential. Dependant on the driver demand, the car's intelligent system decides the most efficient method to deliver the power required, whether this is by electric, diesel or both. The Range_e also features regenerative braking to capture energy usually wasted in heat energy via the brakes. This energy can then be redeployed to drive the vehicle, further reducing fossil fuel consumption.

John Edwards, Land Rover Global Brand Director, said: "This system is the first example of a premium plug-in hybrid that also provides the full four-wheel-drive capability that you would expect from a Land Rover. It is an evolution of the production intent diesel-electric hybrid technology which will be launched in our next generation of SUVs and will be available for customers within the next two years."

The Land Rover Range_e is one of a number of Land Rover projects supported by the UK Government's Technology Strategy Board and five prototype models are currently engaged in a test programme with Land Rover's fellow members of the CABLED - Coventry and Birmingham Low Emissions Demonstrators - consortium. Land Rover anticipates its plug-in hybrid system will be brought to market in the near future, following on from the debut of its first standard diesel-electric hybrid models from 2013.

Pete Richings, Chief Engineer Hybrids, said: "We started the Range_e fleet trial in December 2010 and we have so far covered 12,000 miles on the trial between the five test vehicles. We are gathering invaluable real world data that will enable us to refine the technology ahead of introducing a production vehicle."

Land Rover continues to recognise the need to work on all aspects of our CO2 footprint such as reducing weight, reducing mechanical losses and increasing powertrain efficiency and our hybrid technology represents one part of the research and development journey.

Jaguar Land Rover is committed to spending £800 million on environmental technologies and has targeted a 25 per cent reduction in its fleet average CO2 emissions between 2008 and 2012.

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