Freedom won: an EV is released back into the wild
There were heavy hearts, and some tears, when Team-Freedom Won (a proudly South African electric vehicle – EV – conversion company) released Freedom3 back into the wild on August 21.
“She’s now on route back to her home in Chobe, Botswana,” says Lizette Kriel, strategy and brand manager, as well as a co-owner and the fairer half of the Freedom Won team (the other being a visionary engineer, Antony English).
The team will see her again this October – strutting her electric stuff – when they spend some time at the Chobe Game Lodge, in Botswana’s Chobe National Park, when commissioning Freedom4 – Chobe’s first electric “skimmer” river boat …
Freedom3, a special electric Land Rover created by Freedom Won, is a Defender 130 pickup with crew cab. It was originally fitted with a
2,5-litre, Td5 diesel engine and a five-speed manual gearbox.
Freedeom3 has been transformed almost beyond recognition under the bonnet, but the exterior remains unaltered and distinctly Land Rover. The magic lies in the 80 kW permanent magnet motor that is coupled directly to the original transfer case, which delivers 600 Nm at low speeds – thus effectively eliminating the need for a gearbox.
“We have retained the high/low and diff-lock functions in the transfer case, so it is still a very rugged off-roader …” Kriel explains. “It is capable of creeping along sandy rutted tracks and climbing rocky ascents, then setting out on the open road at speeds up to 120 km/h.“
A typical range on sand tracks is estimated at 120 km. “On the open road she will manage 150 km if driven carefully,” Kriel points out. “An average charge will be two to three hours, or six hours if the cells have been fully depleted.”