Electric Land Rovers and off-road vehicles

white Volvo with Christmas tree on roof

Dear R-EV enthusiasts

Electric quad bike

Welcome to our Christmas newsletter!  For this issue we are down on the farm.  We have been driving the first of our electric Land Rover conversions designed specifically for farmers through the legendary Worthy Farm mud, and we bring you news of one of our partners:  Off-Road Electric.

This year, our Christmas charity has been elected by one of our customers, Nick Hooper, who has staged a one-man on-line concert for Justice Defenders.  Nick’s concert can be found on YouTube here.  Nick, being a lovely man as well as a celebrated composer, has written a piece of music about his electric Morris Minor, and you can hear it from minute 13:40 in the concert.  It’s a catchy tune and is getting a lot of attention!  Please consider making a donation to Justice Defenders, which you can do here.

So, off to Worthy Farm…

Cow-Powered Electric Land Rovers

electric Land Rover at Worthy Farm

Those of you who follow our social media will know that we have won an Innovate UK award, together with Cardiff University and Worthy Farm.  The scrutiny process for an Innovate UK award is tough and we are really pleased about this recognition of our technology.  Full details can be found here.

Cows contemplate an electric Land Rover

We will be building four full-instrumented electric Land Rovers for six months of trials down on the farm.  The first Defender was delivered a few weeks ago, and we have been spending happy hours driving it around on cow-power.  All the electricity at Worthy Farm is generated by solar power and an anaerobic digestion power plant working on the dairy farm slurry – so the Land Rovers will be using 100% green electricity.  As you can see in the picture above, the cows seem pretty happy about it!

The point of the project is to gather real data about how Land Rovers are used on the farm, understand the demands on motors and batteries and whether there are extras that we can design-in, to make the vehicles better to use, as well as zero emission.  The challenge is to design down to a spec, to make electric conversion kits for farmers as economical as possible.  The vehicles are instrumented up to the gills, and we are beaming the data real-time to Cardiff University, who are building a computer model to predict how the electric Defenders will perform on other farms and in other environments.  What have we learned so far?  Pulling a loaded trailer up steep muddy hills creates tremendous voltage drops, and our electric Land Rover is really popular with the farm workers: it is fast, but most importantly its heater is instantaneous!

The spec?  This one is simply a NetGain Hyper9 motor connected directly to the clutch, so all the gears and the hi/lo ratios are all intact: simple, low-cost and an exact match for the outgoing diesel engine.  We have other combinations in the Works though, and will keep you in touch with what’s going on down on the farm!

Off-Road Electric

Off-Road Electric logo

We are delighted to announce a partnership with Off-Road Electric, a company dedicated to bringing zero-emissions to working landscapes.  Electrogenic is using its expertise to provide servicing and back-up to Off-Road Electric and its customers.

There are some serious work-horses in Off-Road Electric’s product range – witness our very own farm-boy Jake looking happy on a shiny new electric tractor.  But to be honest, some of the vehicles make pretty good toys too..

The Lithium electric quad-bike has a bigger range than its petrol equivalent.  You can sling a sheep on the back and make it back off the moor though the snow-drifts quietly, cleanly and efficiently.  Go on, you know you want to…

What’s in the workshop?

This is where we make you do some of the work: figure out what vehicles these photos are from, and earn yourself a pat on the back when we publish the answers in the next newsletter.

Mystery Picture 15
Mystery Picture 16

Answers from October:

Mystery Picture 13 – it’s our new vacuum former, ready to produce mounting panels, charger inserts, etc.

Mystery Picture 14 – the battery trays now driving around Worthy Farm!

And welcome to… Marc!”

Marc is the owner of Off-Road Electric.  He runs his business in a hands-on sort of way, though we don’t know if he has personally tested the roll-bar on his quad-bikes yet!

And finally…

Our favourite link of the season is the Blob Opera.  Click here for the most seasonal fun it’s possible to have on-line.

And if you are clean out of Christmas present ideas, and  live locally, The Village Refill (proudly sponsored by Electrogenic) is making its last delivery tomorrow.  If you don’t live locally, you will just have to buy one of Marc’s electric quad bikes.

That’s it from us for 2020, a busy year despite the challenges. Lots more electric car conversion news coming in 2021.

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Electrogenic wins Innovate UK award!

Electric Land Rover being built for Glastonbury Festivals

Electrogenic wins Innovate UK award to develop 100% electric Land Rovers with Worthy Farm and Cardiff University

Electrogenic is delighted to announce that we have won an Innovate UK Sustainable Innovation Fund award, to develop low-cost technology to convert Land Rovers to all-electric.  We are partnering with Worthy Farm (host to the Glastonbury Festival) and Cardiff University to develop and test our green technology in a working environment.

A significant number of farmers and land owners in the UK are taking the initiative to decarbonise, but right now no-one makes an electric four-wheel-drive equivalent to the classic Land Rover.  And as we like to say at Electrogenic: “why throw away a whole vehicle just to change the engine?”.

Over the next nine months, Electrogenic will be converting four Land Rovers to electric. The vehicles will be running around Worthy Farm doing the usual jobs, while we capture as much data as possible.  This will allow Cardiff University to build a computer model to predict how the vehicles will perform on other farms and in other environments.  Electrogenic’s aim is to help farmers and landowners towards net-zero by creating a cost-effective zero-emission solution for everyday transport.

Electrogenic specialises in converting classic cars to electric.  Expanding this to off-road working vehicles has big benefits in helping to decarbonise land management.  It also creates direct operating cost benefits: no fuel consumption when the vehicle is stationary, and vehicle maintenance reduced to just brakes and suspension.  When combined with electricity from Worthy Farm’s solar and anaerobic digestion installations, the electric Land Rovers are expected to lead to significant reductions in operating costs.

Electrogenic is particularly pleased with Innovate UK’s recognition of its unique technology, which enables easy remote monitoring of all the data generated by the vehicles’ control systems.  We will develop and deploy two different designs, and deploying them on a working farm will give a real insight into how to keep costs down by not over-engineering the conversion.  The vehicles will be tested throughout the winter, working every day in the worst that the weather can throw at them, so we are looking forward to a lot of good, clean fun!  The end product will be fully documented, cost-effective way of going off road all-electric.

And finally, a word from Innovate UK Executive Chair Dr Ian Campbell:

“In these difficult times we have seen the best of British business innovation. The pandemic is not just a health emergency but one that impacts society and the economy.

“Electrogenic, along with every initiative Innovate UK has supported through this fund, is an important step forward in driving sustainable economic development. Each one is also helping to realise the ambitions of hard-working people.”

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