This EV-Swapped Defender Is the First Classic Car with Wheel Motors

by Nik Berg
19 April 2024 2 min read
This EV-Swapped Defender Is the First Classic Car with Wheel Motors

There’s no need to wait for the new Mercedes G-Wagen if you’re after an EV with go-anywhere ability. British-based BEDEO is offering a conversion kit for classic Land Rover Defenders which offers a similar setup comprising four in-wheel motors for off-road agility.

BEDEO says that by tearing out the engine and transmission and retro-fitting the electric powertrain there’s no added weight. Each of the motors, built by sister company Protean, produces a peak power of 90 kW (121 bhp) and peak torque of 1250 Nm (921 lbft), dwarfing a diesel Defender’s figures. The from 0–62 mph takes a scant ten seconds, and top speed is 80 mph.

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Where the BEDEO car isn’t quite as strong is range, with its 75 kWh battery pack offering 153 miles according to the European WLTP cycle. The car can be outfitted with 22 kW or 50 kW charging, allowing a fastest charge to full in 90 minutes.

Each wheel can be independently controlled to maximize traction in any terrain, but, unlike the upcoming G-Wagen and Hummer EVs it hasn’t been configured for tank turns.

“Through our Reborn Electric: Icons program, we are committed to maintaining the original car’s kerb weight, charm, and driving dynamics while ensuring easy maintenance and delivering the benefits of electrification,” says BEDEO founder Osman Boyner. “For the Defender, and other models to come, this means zero tailpipe emissions, zero noise, and the preservation of the nostalgic, classic driving experience we all cherish, now brought into the 21st Century without sacrificing its essence or adding unnecessary, bulky weight.”

No price for the conversion has been announced as yet and it can only be installed via BEDEO-approved fitters. The Defender is the first in a series that BEDEO calls “Reborn Electric: Icons”, with more classic conversions in the pipeline. “We’re not simply converting cars to electric power,” adds Boyner. “We’re preserving automotive heritage, while enabling the clean and efficient transportation of the future, with a technology that has only been preserved for large OEMs and brand-new vehicles, until today.”

BEDEO Land Rover Defender EV swap 3

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