New ‘Drop-in’ Defender EV Conversion Kit | Articles

Converting your Defender to full electric power just got easier with a new insert kit from a UK company.

Oxfordshire-based Electrogenic has been testing its new Defender EV conversion on a farm for 18 months. The kit is compatible with any 90 or 110 up to 1998 (when the Td5 engine arrived), and promises to significantly reduce running costs.

The 52 kWh batteries are stored under the hood, allowing 173 lb-ft and 119 hp – comparable to a Tdi. They offer a range of over 100 miles on the road, or “considerably more when driving off-road or around a farm”.

Although road-legal, the conversion is aimed at farmers and landowners (the company has a high-voltage alternative for more road-focused applications). The original 4WD transmission is retained and the towing capacity would be improved by the instant delivery of torque.

A 7.5kW AC charge will see the batteries restored to full charge overnight, but a faster charge option is also available.

It’s math time…

Electrogenic says the average farm will recoup the £24,000 + VAT purchase cost of the EV conversion in four years. That claim seems a bit strong at first, as £24,000 worth of diesel equals 60,000 miles at 23mpg paying 2pl. But the claim is less outlandish considering the lower maintenance costs an EV drivetrain can offer. This kit is said to be “entirely maintenance free and will operate trouble-free for decades, while the batteries are just as robust: good for 200,000 miles or more”.

Compared to the six-figure sums required for more comprehensive conversions (by Twisted or Electric Classic Cars, for example), Electrogenic’s relatively down-to-earth option is significantly more accessible.

Steve Drummond, co-founder of Electrogenic, said: “We make high spec conversions for road warriors, but this kit is all about giving landowners an economical and durable option. It is easy to install and uses exclusive Electrogenic technology. It gives Land Rover Defenders an affordable new life, reducing running costs while improving performance and handling around the estate. After an extensive development programme, in partnership with automotive experts at Cardiff University, we also know it future-proofs the traditional Defender, preparing it for decades of reliable, long-lasting service as we enter the age of low-carbon agriculture. […] An electrified Defender can also represent a step closer to a farm meeting its sustainability goals.

Electrogenic expects to begin shipments of its Defender EV conversion kit in October.

Amanda J. Marsh