This might be the best off-roader restomod we've ever seen.
While options today are slim, folks in want of a pure-electric off-roader will soon be spoiled for choice. Rivian's forthcoming R1T pickup and R1S utility vehicle, which are slated to launch early next year, will have at least some basic overlanding capabilities. Better still are the Bollinger B1 SUV and B2 pickup, which will ship with honest-to-goodness portal axles and 15 inches of ground clearance. Or, you could always wait for the GMC Hummer EV, announced during this year's Super Bowl and scheduled to arrive for the 2022 model year.
Or, you could always take the road less traveled and have E.C.D. Automotive Design build you a Tesla-powered Land Rover Defender.
E.C.D. - or East Coast Defender - is well-known for its restomod Land Rover Defenders, but for some time, the company has been grappling with the question of how to bring an electric version to market. It's settled on using Tesla drive motor controllers with 100-kWh Tesla battery packs for up to 220 miles of range per charge, partnering with UK-based Electric Classic Cars - a company that specializes in electric conversions of old gas-powered classics.
With this setup, the sprint from 0-60 mph is said to take 5 seconds flat, and E.C.D. Automotive Design promises many miles of "energy-efficient, maintenance-free" motoring with its electric Defenders.
E.C.D. hasn't said when it plans to get to work churning out electric Land Rover Defenders for customers, nor has it published any pricing info, but the company encourages interested parties to get in touch via its website.
The Land Rover Defender is an absolute icon in the world of overlanding, with roots that stretch all the way back to the original Land Rover Series I of 1948. After nearly seven decades, the classic model was finally discontinued in 2016 before coming back as a more modern, aluminum unibody utility vehicle. The new Defender is, truthfully, every bit as capable as its forebears, but we can't help but wonder whether it isn't missing those vehicles' simpler, more straightforward charm.