Jaguar Land Rover to build hydrogen SUV

Jaguar Land Rover has new plans for hydrogen-powered vehicles.

In a move supported by a £73.5m (AUD $131m) Government-funded programme, Jaguar Land Rover is looking into developing a new SUV powered by hydrogen fuel-cell technology.

Known as Project Zeus, the technology is being worked on in collaboration with British firms UKBIC, Delta Motorsport, and Marelli Automotive Systems with a view to getting the technology to JLR customers faster. The project is still expected to be explored over a number of years, however.

A document issued by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy confirmed the project.

“Working with world-class research and industry partners, Jaguar Land Rover is developing a prototype hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle. The project will deliver a zero-tailpipe-emissions premium fuel-cell SUV concept with Jaguar Land Rover attributes, such as long range, quick refill, towing, off-road capabilities and low-temperature performance.

“The project will help drive significant growth and capability in fuel-cell electric vehicle design and manufacturing, providing a competitive edge in intellectual property and supply chain for the UK.”

The news comes following Jaguar Land Rover’s earlier focus on hydrogen technology, in the wake of the Jaguar I-Pace electric SUV’s arrival. Ralph Clague was hired as the firm’s new head of hydrogen and fuel cells in March 2019.

There’s no way to tell if and when a fuel-cell Jaguar Land Rover SUV will launch, but it’s certainly a few years off. For now, those wanting to try out the technology for themselves are limited to pioneering cars like the Toyota Mirai and Hyundai NEXO, the latter going on sale in Australia imminently. A hydrogen-powered BMW X5 is also in the works.

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James Howe

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