An electric Land Rover Defender is coming.
JLR has confirmed it will produce electric vehicles across the Range Rover, Defender, Jaguar and Discovery brands, with plans to have nine electric vehicles (EVs) on sale by 2030.
The company is aiming to move away completely from internal-combustion engines by 2039.
This plant will exclusively produce EVs, making it the company’s first all-EV production facility.
JRL has yet to confirm any details about its upcoming Defender-badged electric model, including when exactly the vehicle will enter production.
The Nitra, Slovakia plant has produced over 365,000 internal combustion-powered Defender and Discovery vehicles since production began in 2018.
The company previously invested £250 million (A$478 million) in a factory in Whitley, United Kingdom alongside its Wolverhampton manufacturing centre to build electric drive units (EDUs), while its Castle Bromwich, United Kingdom assembly plant will begin building body panels for JLR’s future EVs.
JLR is investing £15 billion (A$28.73bn) over five years to “transform its vehicles to electric”.
The company’s next Range Rover Evoque and Velar and Land Rover Discovery Sport are expected to use the upcoming Electrified Modular Architecture (EMA), which will be for EVs only. The platform was previously hailed as an electric-first platform that would also support internal-combustion engines and plug-in hybrid powertrains.
Earlier this year, Adrian Mardell, CEO of JLR said to Autocar the company currently plans to build “three vehicles, maybe four” on EMA.
The first EMA-based vehicles will go into production from late 2024, with the second-generation Velar thought to be first (electric) cab off the rank.
All three models will be built at the company’s Halewood factory, about 30 minutes outside of Liverpool, which will be converted to produce electric cars only.
It’s understood JLR will keep the Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA) that underpins the latest Range Rover and Range Rover Sport in production for the foreseeable future, with electric versions coming for both of those models.
MLA supports internal combustion engines, hybrids, and electric drivetrains, and will allow the automaker to “meet the needs of different markets around the world, that are moving at different speeds towards carbon net zero targets”.