Jaguar Land Rover may shift its zero-emission vehicle strategy somewhat if a hydrogen fuel-cell SUV reportedly under development has any chance of making it to production.
The automaker will receive UK government funding to develop a prototype called “ZEUS,” for “zero and low-emissions vehicles in urban society,” as part of a stimulus program for the auto industry focusing on green technology, reported Auto Express.
The project will deliver a prototype fuel-cell SUV with “Jaguar Land Rover attributes, such as such as long range, quick refill, towing, off road capabilities and low temperature performance,” according to a press release from the UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.
The fuel-cell SUV is one of 10 projects from multiple automakers and suppliers being funded under the 73.5 million British pound ($90.2 million) stimulus program. Jaguar Land Rover also received funding for a second project to develop power electronics for future battery-electric vehicles.
It’s unclear if ZEUS will lead to a production Jaguar or Land Rover hydrogen model. The automaker hadn’t previously (at least in the recent past) been involved in fuel-cell vehicles.
2020 Land Rover Defender
Also unclear is how this might impact the battery-electric Jaguar and Land Rover (potentially dubbed “Road Rover”) SUVs that are reportedly also in the works.
Jaguar Land Rover is also working on a platform for urban mobility—something that might be put to use by parent company Tata.
BMW last year agreed on the sharing of EV-related propulsion components with Jaguar Land Rover. The German automaker, in turn, has an agreement with Toyota to supply components for its own limited-production fuel-cell model, based on the X5 SUV.
Meanwhile, work continues on the next-generation Jaguar XJ sedan, expected to arrive on the market in 2021 with a battery-electric powertrain.