Land Rover is sensitive to accusations that its models are particularly harmful to the environment and it is planning to introduce new technology to reduce emissions. The most radical solution is a new type of electric rear axle. While the Lexus RX400h uses only electric drive to the rear axle, the Land Rover system is claimed to boost off-road performance by augmenting rather than replacing the mechanical drive. It provides additional torque to the rear axle, but it can also power the vehicle up to 20 mph without use of the conventional engine at all. Land Rover is also planning to use an Integrated Starter Generator (ISG). ISG replaces the conventional alternator and allows the engine to be stopped and restarted automatically when the vehicle is stationary in traffic. There are also designs that cut power losses by only charging the battery when necessary and managing airflow through the radiator to shorten warm-up times.
The company says that most of the technology will be available on Land Rover production models "starting in the next few years."
Posted on 7th March 2006
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