JLR in April added a new plug-in hybrid system in its best-selling SUV models, the Range Rover Evoque and the Land Rover Discovery Sport, thereby expanding its electric car lineup. Both the premium compact SUVs are now available with plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) technology, with an electric-only range of up to 66 kms and 62 kms respectively.
While being driven, energy generated by the engine during acceleration, or by braking in electric or hybrid mode, is harvested and used to charge the battery. CO2 emissions of these models are as low as 32 g/km.
Both the models use Land Rover’s Premium Transverse architecture, which was designed to accommodate plug-in and mild-hybrid technologies. The new models, badged P300e, still retain Land Rover’s signature off-road capability.
The new PHEV models combine a 200PS 1.5-liter three-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine with a 109PS (80kW) electric motor integrated into the rear axle and powered by a 15 kWh lithium-ion battery located below the rear seats. Combined Power and Torque output (Petrol Engine + Electric Motor) for both models is 309PS and 540 Nm. the Range Rover Evoque does 0-100 km/h dash in 6.4 seconds. The Discovery Sport offers 0-100 km/h in 6.6 seconds. Both can reach speeds of up to 135km/h using electric power alone.
The P300e models of both the cars offer 3 distinct driving modes to the driver to choose to best suit them, they are: HYBRID Mode, EV Mode, SAVE Mode
The HYBRID mode is the default driving mode. It automatically combines power from the electric motor and gasoline engine. The operating strategy adapts to driving conditions and the remaining charge in the battery. Entering a destination in the navigation system enables the Predictive Energy Optimization (PEO) function to integrate route and GPS data to maximize efficiency and comfort for the selected journey.
The EV (Electric Vehicle) mode enables the vehicle to run solely on the electric motor using the energy stored in the battery, for quiet, zero-tailpipe emission journeys.
The SAVE mode prioritizes the combustion engine as its main power source, maintaining battery State of Charge at the chosen level.
he Electric Rear Axle Drive (ERAD) is powered by the compact 15kWh lithium-ion battery, located below the rear seats. The battery is made up of 84 prismatic cells, with a 6mm-thick steel undertray that protects the battery without compromising the vehicles’ all-terrain capability.
The ERAD features a light, compact and efficient synchronous permanent magnet motor. To optimize package space, the driveshafts are concentric with the motor and single-speed transmission, while the inverter is also integrated within the ERAD casing. The ERAD module is neatly integrated within the Integral Link rear suspension system.
At speeds above 135km/h, the electric motor is decoupled to reduce drag and therefore optimize efficiency, and then seamlessly re-engages when the speed falls below this.
A smooth new eight-speed automatic transmission has been selected to match the power and torque delivery of the three-cylinder engine and work seamlessly with the ERAD. As well as being 5kg lighter than the nine-speed transmission used in the other models, the new eight-speed delivers enhanced refinement and shift feel, and is an integral part of the hybrid system.
A new brake-by-wire system replaces the traditional brake vacuum servo, and seamlessly blends regenerative and friction braking to provide a consistent and precise pedal feel. The system can deliver up to 0.2g of deceleration under regenerative braking, maximizing energy efficiency by using the vehicles’ kinetic energy to recharge the battery on the overrun.
The new PHEV models are available with a Mode 2 Home Charging Cable, enabling customers to fully charge the vehicle from a plug socket in 6hrs 42mins, which is perfect for overnight charging. For faster charging, the Mode 3 Charging Cable enables customers to plug-in to a 7kW AC domestic wall box. The battery can be charged from 0 to 80 per cent in as little as 30 minutes using 32kW DC charger and in 1 hr 24 mins using a 7kW AC charger. The charge port flap is located on the rear fender – on the opposite side of the vehicle to the fuel filler flap.
Customers can stay connected to the Evoque and Discovery Sport PHEV via Land Rover’s intelligent InControl Remote smartphone application. Whether at home or out and about, the app allows customers to monitor the vehicle’s charge status, ready the vehicle for the journey ahead or even set a charging timer to take advantage of off-peak energy tariffs.
Owners can automatically pre-condition the battery and cabin temperature before starting a journey: using mains power to do this when the vehicle is plugged in rather than drawing energy from the battery when you start driving, maximising range and enhances occupant comfort.
The P300e badged models are available in S, SE and HSE specifications, each as standard or R-Dynamic, with a range of wheel designs from 18 to 20 inches