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A painstakingly restored vintage Land Rover Defender may be the coolest vehicle one can own. There’s one not-so-slight problem: they are terrible for the environment. Whether you stick with that old LR diesel or swap in a 6.2-liter Corvette engine, an original Defender will be inefficient. E.C.D. Automotive Design is now providing a solution that will preserve the classic truck for a changing world: building custom, Tesla-powered electric Defenders.
E.C.D. only offered a few details about the new electric offering. The base vehicles will be the four-door Defender 110 models. They will use a Tesla Motor Direct Drive system with a 100-kWh battery. E.C.D. estimates a range of about 220 miles and a 0-60 mph time of 5.5 seconds. Both numbers should be more than sufficient for the way most buyers will likely use these vehicles — which is to say, not for a whole lot of long-distance daily driving.
Going electric also means you won’t have to deal with the noise of an old Defender, which will be part of the charm for many. But instant torque and a lower center of gravity due to the battery’s weight and location could yield even better off-road performance. It also opens up the vintage Defender to buyers who love the style and have the money, but can’t accept the carbon footprint.
One notable detail left off the website: how much the custom builds are going to cost. E.C.D. Defenders aren’t cheap. The least expensive Defender 110 build on the site right now is selling for $160,000. Battery tech could drive the price up even further. This electric Gateway Bronco has an estimated MSRP north of $300,000.