Game hunting is being taken into the 21st century thanks to Axeon. The European producer of lithium-ion battery packs has worked together with Land Rover South Africa and Barker Performance Parts to create an all-electric Defender, ready to take on the roughest terrain the game reserve has to offer.
Axeon started with a Land Rover Defender 110 High Capacity Pick Up and swapped out the 2.4-liter diesel engine for a 27 kW-hr, 300V lithium-ion battery pack and an air-cooled AC induction motor with an output of 193 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque. The truck is able to travel for 50 miles at speeds up to 37 mph, with a 20 mile reserve range, which Axeon says is three times the distance of a normal game drive. It has also been tested by Land Rover to meet its high off-roading standards and still maintains the same approach, departure, and break-over angles and well as the 19.6-inch wading height of the diesel-powered Defender, thanks to the batteries being placed in the engine bay instead of under the floor of the vehicle.
The most obvious benefit of the all-electric powertrain means that there are no tailpipe emissions, but an added bonus found during testing is that the Axeom Defender can get closer to animals because of its quiet operation.