Land Rover is showcasing its ERAD hybrid powertrain at the show - and has confirmed that two hybrid Freelanders are already undergoing real-world tests.
The prototypes are running Land Rover’s advanced new hybrid powertrain, known as ERAD (Electric Rear Axle Drive), which has been designed to be scalable, so it can be made to fit most of Land Rover’s models and powertrains.
Although the system is being tested on the Freelander, it’s likely that the first ERAD application will be on the LRX when it’s launched in 2010. That’s because Land Rover bosses want to showcase the company’s best possible low-emissions performance – to make a marketing statement – so they’re keen to launch the system on their smallest, lightest model.
ERAD is a parallel hybrid system, meaning the vehicle can be driven solely by its diesel engine, or its electric motors, or a combination of both. Although the ERAD unit’s mounted at the rear, the electric motor delivers power to the front wheels via the propshaft, so it can offer full four-wheel-drive. Insiders say the system should cut Land Rover emissions by around 20 percent and that the UK government has helped fund its development.
This advanced hybrid system is still in its early stages and we won’t get to try it until the LRX is launched in 2010. But Land Rover will introduce green technology like stop-start by next year.