Electric Classic: Tesla-Powered Land Rover Defender

Want the ultra-cool vibe of a classic 4×4 like the Land Rover Defender and the high level of modern power delivered by Tesla electric drivetrains? Then take a look at the first electric Land Rover Defender conversion using Tesla power. E.C.D. Automotive Design is a leader in custom restorations of Defenders and other classic Land Rovers. It recently partnered up with Electric Classic Cars (ECC), one of the United Kingdom’s experts in electric conversions of classic vehicles, to create this futuristic off-roader.

The two took on the task of building the first electric Defender in the U.S. with a Tesla drivetrain, and the result of that partnership shows attention to detail, engineering prowess, and top-notch quality control. The installation of the Tesla motor delivers 450 bhp and an acceleration performance of 0-60 mph in under 5 seconds. There will be a 600 bhp option if you think you really need it.

Given that classic 4×4 vehicles are typically heavier and certainly less aerodynamic than modern SUVs, the builders knew that the electric setup had to be powerful, but it also had to be responsive. They have been able to retain the vehicle’s excellent on and off-road capabilities and deliver big power.

The ECD Defenders will also feature downhill assist and traction control, an anti-lock braking system, regenerative braking, and a fully upgraded driveline. The electric parking brake system will add a luxury feel as an alternative to the mechanical handbrake, and the vehicle’s clutch pedal, gear stick and hi/lo ratio selector are designed and placed to make the interior space feel a little roomier. The first electric Defender in the U.S. rolls off the line later this year and is 50-state compliant. For even more details, check out the ECD Defender introduction video and spend some time on the E.C.D. Automotive Design website.

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About the author

Stuart Bourdon

A passion for anything automotive (especially off-road vehicles), camping, and photography led to a life exploring the mountains and deserts of the Southwest and Baja, and a career in automotive, outdoor, and RV journalism.
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