Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has revealed plans to develop a prototype hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV).
On 15 June, it explained that the concept will be based on its Land Rover Defender and that a prototype will begin testing later this year. The testing will seek to verify key attributes, such as off-road capability and fuel consumption. It forms part of JLR’s efforts to reach zero tailpipe emissions by 2036, followed by net zero carbon emissions across its supply chain, products and operations by 2039.
Project Zeus, JLR’s advanced engineering project, is striving to enable engineers to gain understanding on how a hydrogen powertrain can be optimised to deliver the performance and capability expected by customers. Part funded by the Advanced Propulsion Centre, the project has seen JLR team up with the likes of Delta Motorsport, AVL, Marelli Automotive Systems and the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre to research, develop and then create the prototype FCEV.
On the appeal of hydrogen-powered FCEVs, JLR drew on their high energy density and rapid refuelling, along with minimal loss of range in low temperatures. It makes the technology ideal for larger, longer range vehicles, or those that operate in hot and cold environments. The number of FCEVs on roads around the worldwide has already almost doubled since 2018, with hydrogen refuelling stations increasing by more than 20% and this is set to continue. JLR highlighted forecasts that hydrogen-powered FCEV deployment could hit 10mn by 2030, with 10,000 refuelling stations worldwide.