Published on June 15th, 2021 | by Subhash Nair


Land Rover Defender With Hydrogen Fuel Cell Being Developed

The go-anywhere, do-anything Defender will get hydrogen fuel cell power soon.

Land Rover may have divided the fanbase when they built the all-new Defender on a monocoque chassis, but there’s no denying they got it right for today’s market. In many markets around the world, the new Defender is selling better than anticipated, leading to the cannibalisation of other Land Rover models.

land rover defender 90 V8 exterior action

The company is also in the middle of a big push towards greater sustainability beyond just the use of more environmentally friendly materials. Beyond more electric vehicles, the company will also be introducing a hydrogen-powered powertrain. What better candidate than the Defender?

Their prototype Defender Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) will undergo testing this year. They’re calling it Project Zeus and it’s getting partial funding from the UK government. It will involve companies such as Delta Motorsport, AVL, Marelli Automotive Systems and the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC). They’ll have a lot of catching up to do, given Toyota, Honda and many others already have a 2 generation headstart in hydrogen-powered PRODUCTION vehicles.

Until the car is ready, we can speculate what JLR will end up calling their production hydrogen off-roader. Defender H2, maybe, if Hummer doesn’t mind sharing.

BHPetrol_Euro5 Diesel_2021

Here’s the press release with more.


Jaguar Land Rover is developing a prototype hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) based on the new Land Rover Defender, with testing scheduled to begin this year.

The FCEV concept is part of Jaguar Land Rover’s aim to achieve zero tailpipe emissions by 2036, and net zero carbon emissions across its supply chain, products and operations by 2039, in line with the Reimagine strategy announced last month.

FCEVs, which generate electricity from hydrogen to power an electric motor, are complimentary to battery electric vehicles (BEVs) on the journey to net zero vehicle emissions. Hydrogen-powered FCEVs provide high energy density and rapid refuelling, and minimal loss of range in low temperatures, making the technology ideal for larger, longer-range vehicles, or those operated in hot or cold environments.

Since 2018, the global number of FCEVs on the road has nearly doubled while hydrogen refuelling stations have increased by more than 20%**. By 2030, forecasts predict hydrogen-powered FCEV deployment could top 10 million with 10,000 refuelling stations worldwide*.

Jaguar Land Rover’s advanced engineering project, known as Project Zeus, is part funded by the government-backed Advanced Propulsion Centre, and will allow engineers to understand how a hydrogen powertrain can be optimised to deliver the performance and capability expected by its customers: from range to refuelling, and towing to off-road ability.

The zero tailpipe emission prototype New Defender FCEV will begin testing towards the end of 2021 in the UK to verify key attributes such as off-road capability and fuel consumption.

To deliver Project Zeus, Jaguar Land Rover has teamed up with world class R&D partners, including Delta Motorsport, AVL, Marelli Automotive Systems and the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) to research, develop and create the prototype FCEV.

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