Range_e, Jaguar Land Rover’s technology concept for a plug-in hybrid diesel-electric powertrain, has been honoured with the 2011 Award for Automotive Innovation by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The system, first revealed at the Geneva motor show in March, has been hailed by the auto industry as the most significant achievement of the year in UK research and development for the global market.
Range_e marks a world first as a luxury all-wheel drive vehicle powered by plug-in hybrid system, bringing together a 69kW electric motor and 14.2kWh lithium-ion battery with Land Rover’s 245PS 3.0-litre TDV6 diesel engine. The vehicle, based on the Range Rover Sport, can be driven for more than 20 miles on its electric power, creating zero tailpipe emissions. Beyond this range the diesel hybrid drivetrain engages seamlessly and continues to optimise CO2 emissions. Overall CO2 output is 89g/km with 85mpg fuel economy, while the system’s combined power of 339PS delivers a top speed of around 120mph. Battery recharging can be accomplished simply and efficiently by connecting the system to an external 240V power source.
The award, sponsored by GKN, was presented to Jaguar Land Rover by Norman Baker, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, and Rob Rickell, GKN Global Engineering Director, at the SMMT annual dinner.
Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive and chair of the judging panel, said, 'Jaguar Land Rover has engineered and manufactured a highly efficient and technologically advanced prototype vehicle that clearly demonstrates industry’s commitment to lowering vehicle emissions and creating exciting products for demanding consumers. This award champions industry innovation, promoting cutting-edge automotive engineering and design that the UK is famed for around the world.'
Accepting the award, Peter Richings, Jaguar Land Rover Chief Engineer for Hybrids, said, 'Innovation and technology are the lifeblood of our business and we are delighted that our work has earned this recognition from our industry peers. Range_e demonstrates the advances we are making in cleaner and more fuel efficient performance without compromising the performance and all-wheel drive capabilities that are at the heart of our brand and we look forward to bringing its benefits to the market in the near future. The award for the Range_e project is testament to the range of skills, excellence and enthusiasm of not just our own engineers and designers, but the people in the research and academic organisations in the UK that have supported them.'
The Range_e is one of a number of Land Rover projects supported by the UK Government's Technology Strategy Board and five prototype models are currently engaged in a test programme with Land Rover's fellow members of the CABLED - Coventry and Birmingham Low Emissions Demonstrators - consortium. The technology showcased in Range_e is destined to be deployed in production vehicles. This will follow on from Land Rover’s planned introduction of its first diesel-electric hybrid model in 2013.