At the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show next week Land Rover will show off new hybrid versions of its Range Rover and Range Rover Sport SUVs, but the company isn’t slowing the pace of its green car development as it has announced today it is spearheading a new research project looking to further develop hybrid and electric car technology. The new research project has been dubbed “Evoque_e” and includes not only Jaguar Land Rover but also relevant industry groups, suppliers and universities. There’s also some funding from the British government via its Technology Strategy Board.
The Evoque_e project will run for two years and look at developing new hybrid and all-electric technology, using the Range Rover Evoque platform. A similar project dubbed “Range_e” led to the Range Rover hybrids being launched next week, so if Evoque_e proves successful we could be looking at a new hybrid or possibly even an electric Range Rover Evoque being launched in the near future.
Starting next month, Evoque_e researchers will design, develop and build three electrified prototypes: a mild hybrid, a plug-in hybrid and a battery-powered electric. They will be used to develop electric motors, single and multi-speed axle drives, advanced control development and torque vectoring, battery packs and integrated power electronics.
The researchers will also look at the use of alternative materials to both reduce the use of rare earth materials and to help save weight. The goal is to develop the technology in a modular way, so that it can be installed in multiple vehicles across the Jaguar and Land Rover brands.