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Electric Land Rover Makes For Silent Safaris

Posted in Electric Vehicles, Land Rover, Off-Roading by Kurt Ernst | May 14th, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

Image: Jaguar Land Rover South Africa, via Inside Line

Your opinion may differ, but I’m calling a battery powered safari vehicle a really, really bad idea. Sure, you can get closer to wildlife without the fumes or exhaust note of a turbo-diesel warning them of your presence, but is that really a good idea in an open vehicle with limited range? Do you really want to surprise a sleeping lion, only to find out that 12 miles of reserve range only equals 2 miles with the accelerator pinned to the floorboard? Getting eaten by a wild animal always struck me as a stupid way to die, and this particular EV conversion might as well come with nozzles that spray a basting sauce on tourists.

That said, it would probably make a great hunting platform, assuming you were heavily armed (although I’d still want steel mesh screening up the sides). This particular Defender was built by Jaguar Land Rover South Africa for a private game park, but the truck serves double duty as a concept vehicle. With help from suppliers Barker Performance Products and battery manufacturer Axeon, the Electric Defender Game Viewer Concept comes with a 58kW electric motor and enough lithium ion batteries to give it a 50 mile range at an average speed of 40 miles per hour. There’s even a reserve system built in for an additional range of 12 miles, but I certainly wouldn’t want to rely on it to avoid being a lion’s dinner.

There’s no word on top speed, but consider this: an African lion can reach a top speed of 36 miles per hour, but a cheetah can top 70 miles per hour for short bursts. Even a leopard can hit 50 miles per hour, but more importantly it can leap distances of some twenty five feet. I’ll pass on using an EV for an African safari, but feel free to let me know if you’re adventurous enough to try it.

Source: Inside Line

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