Land Rover Restomod Now Comes Fused With Tesla's Next-Gen Electric Powertrain

The wait is over: get ready for a Land Rover with the electric motor and battery of a Tesla Model S.
Brad Bergan

An automotive designer has debuted a new restomod called the Electric Defender — combining the right-angles of a Land Rover with the battery and electric motor of a Tesla vehicle, according to the company's website.


ECD Tesla Electric Powertrain
The Electric Defender's chassis simplifies the battery box mounting process, and features 100kWh on-board, with a range of 220 miles. Source: E.C.D. Automotive Design

Land Rover restomod fused with Tesla tech

Weeks ago, the Twisted NAS-E — a restored and modified Land Rover Defender fueled with electrons instead of diesel or gasoline — came to light. But for Land Rover enthusiasts who want something more exceptional, ECD Automotive Design has something sweet in store.

The Electric Defender puts the right-angles beloved by Land Rover fans together with the next-gen electric motor and battery we've come to expect from a Tesla vehicle.

The first Land Rover entered production after the close of World War II — as the U.K.'s answer to the Willys Jeep. It's a box-like off-road vehicle designed for farmers, and predates the SUV by decades. But in recent years, old Land Rovers have risen to "It Car" status in the United States.

Land Rover's claim to American fame

ECD Automotive is to blame for this rise to fame on this side of the Atlantic — the company has consistently remodeled Land Rovers since 2013, stripping them down and then rebuilding to a standard worth the six-figure price, reports Ars Technica.

Until now, the Land Rover remodeling process involved the replacement of Land Rover's initial engine with one from General Motors — the V8. But in the U.K., Electric Classic Cars — featured in the TV show "Vintage Voltage" — recently worked out how to convert the four-wheel-drive Land ROver Defender into an all-electric vehicle.

'Electric Defender' features Tesla Motor S essentials

This works by using the rear-drive motor from a Tesla Motor S, in addition to a Model S battery pack. ECD joined with ECC to provide the powertrain as an additional option to the GM LT4.

"It's that mix of ultramodern and ultraclassic," said Scott Wallace, a founder of ECD, to Ars Technica. "I mean, it doesn't get much more classic than a Defender. And there's always a thing about making old vehicles more and more reliable. Obviously we did that with a GM drivetrain, and I think the electric side of it just gives it another dimension."

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"We're starting with basically a ladder frame, so we've got a ton of space," Wallace added. "It's a battery box, control unit, and it's a drive unit, and then it's just a case of packaging it and getting it to fit the car. The nice thing with Land Rovers is there's acres of space for us to play with."

While Tesla continues to dominate the all-electric automotive space, we're beginning to see the electric option added not only to high-performance vehicles, but also all-range custom options for classics like the Land Rover. Despite challenges posed by the climate crisis on the auto industry, there's less of a shortage of alternatives to fossil fuel vehicles.

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