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Do not disturb the animals – well, that would definitely be the case if you’ve got one of these around. It’s an all-electric version of the iconic Land Rover Defender, and it’s meant for use in game parks, where minimising noise levels is as beneficial as reducing environmental pollution.

Jaguar Land Rover South Africa launched the electric Defender as a concept vehicle at the INDABA tourism exhibition in Durban earlier this week. The vehicle, co-developed with Axeon, Europe’s leading independent developer and manufacturer of lithium-ion battery systems, is a Defender 110 High Capacity Pick Up with an EV powertrain in place of the standard 2.4 litre diesel engine.

The Axeon pack has been designed to fit into the vehicle’s engine bay in order to maintain ground clearance and wading height for the purpose-built vehicle. The bespoke battery system also incorporates Axeon’s proprietary Battery Management System (BMS), which monitors the battery state as well as measures and controls key operational parameters, important factors for an EV operating in harsh conditions.

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In testing, the range has been shown to be capable of three times a typical game drive on a single charge – in this case around 80 km, with a 20 km reserve range.

The electric Defender has been well received by experienced LR drivers, including those from the official Land Rover Experience, and has done quite nicely in testing at the rigorous and gruelling Gerotek test facility in Pretoria. In use, the quiet operation has meant a vehicle with the ability to get closer to animals within a game park. All the better to see you with, one supposes.