It is being developed under the company’s advanced engineering project, known as Project Zeus, which is part-funded by the government-backed Advanced Propulsion Centre.
“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,” the company added.
The development of the prototype FCEV 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, it said.
JLR said the zero tailpipe emission of the 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.
JLR Head of Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Ralph Clague said, “We know hydrogen has a role to play in the future powertrain mix across the whole transport industry. Alongside battery electric vehicles, it offers another zero tailpipe emission solution for the specific capabilities and requirements of Jaguar Land Rover’s world class line-up of vehicles.”
Clague added that the work done alongside the company’s partners in Project Zeus will help it on its journey to become a net zero carbon business by 2039, “as we prepare for the next generation of zero tailpipe emissions vehicles”.
FCEVs generate electricity from hydrogen to power an electric motor. 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, JLR said.
Such vehicles are complementary to battery electric vehicles (BEVs) on the journey to net zero vehicle emissions, the company said.
It added that since 2018, the global number of FCEVs on the road has nearly doubled while hydrogen refuelling stations have increased by more than 20 per cent.
By 2030, forecasts predict hydrogen-powered FCEV deployment could top 10 million with 10,000 refuelling stations worldwide, JLR said, quoting Hydrogen Council data.