Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is developing a prototype Land Rover Defender powered by fuel cells, which is due to begin testing in the UK later this year. The H2 off-road vehicle is being created as part of Jaguar Land Rover's research and development into future technologies.
The development project represents one aspect of the company's new "Reimagine" strategy, unveiled by CEO Thierry Bolloré in February, which saw him announce that Jaguar would become an all-electric car brand from 2025. The former Renault executive took over as chief executive of JLR from Ralph Speth in September 2020.
Jaguar Land Rover announced just under a year ago that it would be working with partners to develop future technologies in general, and fuel cell versions of its larger vehicles in particular, as part of the UK government-funded "Zeus" project. "Zeus" is co-funded by the government's Advanced Propulsion Centre and is designed to give engineers and developers new and deeper insights into how hydrogen propulsion can be optimised.
The prototype H2 Defender is due to begin testing in the UK towards the end of the year, and JLR says the focus will be on aspects such as off-road performance and fuel economy. The Brits are enlisting the help of several partners, including Delta Motorsport, AVL, Marelli Automotive Systems and the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC), in the research, development and production of the fuel cell prototype.