The Daily Telegraph

Land Rover to develop 4x4 that tests hydrogen power

- By Mike Wright

LAND ROVER is to develop its first hydrogen-powered car by the end of the year, the manufactur­er has announced.

It said it was currently working to build a prototype of its Defender model, but added that it would be used to test the viability of the technology to power off-road vehicles.

Land Rover currently has no plans to release a consumer hydrogen model, but says it anticipate­s the technology will become an increasing­ly popular choice for drivers ahead of the government’s 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles.

A number of manufactur­ers already offer hydrogen vehicles for sale in the UK, including Toyota and Hyundai.

The cars are powered by electricit­y charged internally through the chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen. The only emission is the water produced from the reactions.

However, the technology’s environmen­tal credential­s have previously been questioned as although the car itself produces no emissions, hydrogen is often manufactur­ed with fossil fuels.

Advocates of the technology argue that green hydrogen, which uses no fossil fuels but is not yet widely produced, will make the technology more ecofriendl­y in the future.

The technology has not yet been adopted widely in the UK, where there are fewer than 20 petrol stations where hydrogen drivers can refuel.

Land Rover said it was developing its prototype as part of its Project Zeus scheme, a part government-funded unit that explores the viability of ecofriendl­y motoring technologi­es.

As well as the technology’s off-road performanc­e, the company is also testing the range it can give large 4x4s and how such vehicles can be towed in the event of a breakdown.

Ralph Clague, head of hydrogen and fuel cells for Jaguar Land Rover, said: “We know hydrogen has a role to play in the future powertrain mix across the whole transport industry, and alongside battery electric vehicles, it offers another zero tailpipe emission solution for the specific capabiliti­es and requiremen­ts of Jaguar Land Rover’s vehicles.

“The work done alongside our partners in Project Zeus will help us on our journey to become a net zero carbon business by 2039.”

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