Land Rover is taking another step towards sustainable transport, announcing that it will add a “mild hybrid” model to its Range Rover Evoque range and, eventually, also a plug-in hybrid version.
The first “MHEV” variant of the Evoque to be launched will feature a 48V powertrain, with a minimum 110kW electric motor to compliment a 2.0 litre diesel engine, and regenerative braking that the British carmaker says makes it perfect for the constant stopping and starting in city traffic.
The construction of each Evoque will also include 33kg of natural and recycled materials – including a premium leather alternative made by Danish textile designers Kvadrat made from recycled plastic bottles.
“Electrification is central to future mobility solutions and mild hybrids are the first step on this path,” said Dave Skipper, Land Rover Hybrid System Integration Manager in a statement.
“An MHEV need never be charged and delivers real-world fuel consumption reductions that benefit almost all Evoque buyers.
“And for those customers that want silent Range Rover refinement, a plug-in hybrid model will be due within 12 months.”
But the “mild hybrid” is marketing speak for “cannot plug in”, and its astonishing that Land Rover have decided to launch the mild hybrid some 12 months before it intends introducing an actual chargeable hybrid version on the high end market.
The British carmaker already has a range of PHEV variants for its standard Range Rover and Range Rover Sports, so the decision delay a launch date for the PHEV version is confusing, to say the least.
The MHEV Evoque does have the ability to shut off the ICE engine while driving under 17km/hr, but without further details on the size of the regenerative battery it’s difficult to judge how long the MHEV Evoque would last in slow moving, peak hour traffic running only on the electric motor.
The PHEV version on the other hand will have a battery capacity of just 11.3kWh (range is still unspecified), to go with a 1.5 3-cylinder engine on the front axle and a 80kW/260Nm motor on the rear.
The PHEV variant will reach the market within 12 months from now, says Land Rover, which also emphasises that its big picture includes carbon neutral production processes at its UK plant.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.