JLR develops hydrogen prototype

JLR develops hydrogen prototype

Jaguar Land Rover is developing a prototype hydrogen-powered Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV), with testing scheduled to begin this year. Although the prototype is based on a new Defender, the technology will have future ramifications for both Jaguar and Land Rover.


FCEVs, which generate electricity from hydrogen to power an electric motor, are complementary to Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) on the company’s journey to net-zero vehicle emissions. Hydrogen-powered FCEVs provide high energy density and rapid refuelling, along with a 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 percent. By 2030, forecasts predict that hydrogen-powered FCEV deployment could top ten 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 discover 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 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.

Said Ralph Clague, department head of JLR hydrogen and fuel cells, “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 world class line-up of 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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