Hydrogen Defender: JLR announces fuel-cell tech developments

Published: 15 June 2021

► Fuel cell Defender prototype incoming
► JLR investigating tech with partners
► Part of group’s ‘Reimagine’ roadmap

Jaguar Land Rover is building a hydrogen-powered Defender prototype as part of its new efforts to both investigate and invest in the zero-emission propulsion technology.

JLR plans to get a hydrogen fuel-cell prototype Defender testing on UK roads by the end of 2021, in order to see just how viable the fuel source is to the future of the Land Rover and Jaguar brands.

The developments are part of Project Zeus, an engineering project set up by JLR with Delta Motorsport, Marelli, AVL UK and the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre. The coalition has used the part-government-funded Advanced Propulsion Centre as its base of development operations.

hydrogen JLR

Why hydrogen? Well, all of this is work part of JLR’s ‘Reimagine’ project set off by new boss Thierry Bolloré, announced in February 2021. Along with rationalising the ranges of both Jaguar and Land Rover and electrifying both brands on a much shorter timeframe, the roadmap also looks into other ways of lowering emissions – with the aim of being net zero by 2039.

Details are scarce beyond the initial announcement, but JLR believes the investment is worth it. The Hydrogen Council, a coalition of car companies, energy companies and more, says the number of fuel cell vehicles could grow to around 10 million globally.

We’ll update this with more details in the future.

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By Jake Groves

CAR's deputy news editor, office Geordie, gamer, lover of hot hatches

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