Even with the news that oil is hitting a price slump, Land Rover has plans in the works to develop an electric SUV. Already, the German luxury brands have revealed that they are working on vehicles that will take on the Model S and Model X (if it is ever launched into the market). The rumors about Land Rover’s plan say that a car-like, crossover model would be the brand’s first electric model.
It’s not really a surprise that Land Rover is considering making an electric vehicle, considering it showed off an all-electric Defender concept in 2013. What does come as a surprise is that Land Rover would create a crossover that has not all-terrain capabilities, considering that the Defender is a legendary off-roader.
If they are even true, the rumors might indicate that Land Rover believes consumers who are interested in electric vehicles don’t have an interest in taking them out on the open range, for whatever reasons. Efficiency has been cited as a possible reason for the low ground clearance and lack of any differentials, which would seriously decrease the model’s aerodynamics and increase its weight, seriously hurting the range owners could expect. Considering that most people have serious range anxiety when it comes to electric vehicles, such a move is probably wise.
Some are likely wondering why Land Rover would even bother making an electric crossover. There’s the risk that such a vehicle would alienate the hardcore customer base, or that it wouldn’t sell well at all. While those are legitimate concerns, a model powered by electricity would help lower the brand’s fleet emissions, which could be necessary as government regulations call for aggressive improvements across the board. At the same time, there sadly is a significant portion of Land Rover owners who never take their vehicle off pavement, so having something that cannot go off-roading wouldn’t really cramp their lifestyle at all. On top of that, an electric Land Rover could be a hot seller in China, where large luxury vehicles are popular and there are new requirements for electric models.