Land Rover Defender Safari EV concept revealed

Land Rover Defender Safari Game Viewer electric vehicle concept 09.05.2011
Land Rover Defender Safari Game Viewer electric vehicle concept 09.05.2011

All-electric Defender concept features a 59 kW (80 HP) motor also good for 330 Nm of torque and a range of up to 80 km

It's always convenient on a safari to be able to sneak up quietly on the wildlife.

And that's what Land Rover is offering with this Defender Safari EV concept.

Developed locally in South Africa, in a partnership between the British automaker and local Land Rover specialist Barker Performance Products, the Land Rover Defender Safari EV concept features an air-cooled AC induction electric motor with an output of 59 kW (80 PS) and 330 Nm of torque.

A 27kWh, 300 V battery pack, supplied by European firm Axeon, assures the permanent all-wheel drive Defender a range of up to 80 km (50 miles) at speeds of up to 60 km/h (37 mph).

The Land Rover Defender EV Safari concept will make its debut at the Indaba 2011, a tourism event taking place this week (May 7 to 10) in Durban, South Africa.

Source: Land Rover


Land Rover has combined its wealth of experience in the off-road sector, its specialised skills in the production of game viewing vehicles, as well as its constant drive to reduce engine emissions to produce an all-electric concept game viewer.

The Electric Defender Game Viewer Concept Vehicle combines the iconic Defender's peerless reputation for off-road ability with a cutting-edge all-electric drive system - thus making it a truly ‘green' vehicle with zero exhaust emissions.

The pioneering project is being announced today 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, Appropriately, its official debut will take place at Indaba 2011, one of Africa's largest tourism events, which will be held in Durban from 7 to 10 May 2011.

"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," explains 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," Flynn says.

The electrically-powered Defender concept was conceived in response to interest from Londolozi, one of South Africa's top game parks, fulfilling the need for an ecologically-sensitive vehicle with dependable off-road abilities.

Land Rover selected Axeon, Europe's leading independent developer and manufacturer of battery systems, as the source for the innovative lithium ion battery unit utilised in the Electric Defender Game Viewer Concept.

The tailor-made electrical system incorporates an air-cooled AC induction motor linked to the 300-volt 27 kW-hr air-cooled Axeon lithium ion battery pack. Crucially, the entire system was configured to fit into the vehicle's engine bay in order to maintain the Defender's essential ground clearance, wading depth and extended seating capacity.

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 unrivalled off-road ability provided by its standard permanent four-wheel drive system with differential lock.

In practical use, on a single charge the electrically-powered Defender is capable of a range of 80 km, with an additional 20 km reserve - which equates to an eight-hour game drive, or roughly three times the average range of a typical outing.

Recharging is by means of an integrated single-phase charger powered from a conventional electrical point. However, the Defender's battery system can also be replenished by means of a solar charging unit, thus making it totally emissions-free.

As expected of any Land Rover, the Electric Defender Game Viewer Concept has undergone extensive testing and meets all of the brand's demanding design and performance standards.

An integral part of the evaluation process was conducted at the Gerotek Vehicle Testing facility near Pretoria, where instructors from the Land Rover Experience subjected the all-electric Defender Concept to a rigorous and gruelling series of tests.

It performed exceptionally well in all of the tasks and met Land Rover's exacting off-road driving criteria. As an additional benefit, the near-silent operation also made it possible to get closer to animals during game drives, thus ensuring an even more rewarding wildlife experience.


Motor Type

Air cooled AC Induction Motor

Motor Torque


Motor Power


Regenerative power



Air cooled, lithium phosphate

Battery Voltage


Battery Capacity


Tailpipe Emissions

0 g/km CO2

Range, 60 km/h

80km + 20km reserve

Range, in use

8 hour game drive

Charger Type

Fast charger, single phase



Solar Charge Compatible



Defender permanent 4WD with differential lock

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Comments (6)

Douglas6250 Douglas6250
This is good but who can wait for that long to top up the battery ??
May 9th, 2011 6:36pm
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jwil6902 jwil6902
Uhhhhh...cheetahs can run 70+ mph. Who's the genius that thought an open top on a slow safari vehicle was a good idea?
May 9th, 2011 6:08pm
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CDspeed CDspeed
It would be great for safaris, the near silent movement wouldn't alert the animals as much. You could probably pull up closer to take pictures.
May 9th, 2011 4:37pm
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neicheq neicheq
The car is very quiet and that's okey. But with range of only 80km, its not enough..
May 9th, 2011 4:32pm
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CDspeed CDspeed
I guess it's a step in the right direction. Although with those specs it's a very tiny step.
May 9th, 2011 4:26pm
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May 9th, 2011 4:20pm
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