Classic Car conversionsNews

Bedeo’s Reborn electric Land Rover introduces world-first in-wheel power

Electric conversion specialist Bedeo has launched the world’s first classic car with in-wheel motors.

The Reborn Electric: Icons Defender has ditched the diesel in favour of four compact electric motors mounted in the wheels, offering off-road ability with zero emissions.

Bedeo’s roots lie in converting diesel vans to electric power with its proprietary in-wheel systems but it is now expanding into the classic car world, with the Defender intended to showcase the benefits of its innovative powertrain.

Packing a 75kWh battery, the Reborn Defender offers up to 153 miles of driving range and 22kW charging as standard, with the option to add 50kW rapid charging. The motors, battery and on-board charger weigh around the same as the old diesel engine, meaning the conversion brings no weight penalty. And due to the motors’ positioning there is minimal impact on legendary 4×4’s ground clearance, with Bedeo saying it retains the ruggedness that made the Defender so popular.

Like its van conversions, the Bedeo Defender’s in-wheel motors are sourced from sister company Protean Electric and provide up to 321bhp – 200bhp more than the 2.5-litre, four-cylinder diesel that they replace.

While the first vehicle to receive the treatment is the iconic Defender, Bedeo says its in-wheel solution is suitable for any classic vehicle, opening up a new route to EV conversion for classic car owners. It also plans to work with partner businesses to offer customisation and refurbishment services alongside the powertrain swap.

Bedeo Land Rover Defender

Osman Boyner, founder and CEO of Bedeo, said: “The classic car community has warmly embraced the idea of converting their beloved vehicles to run on electric power through EV conversion. However, until now, none have ventured into utilising in-wheel motors to tap into the advantages of weight reduction and engineering enhancements.

“Through our Reborn Electric: Icons programme, 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.

“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.

“Reborn Electric: Icons represents a natural evolution for us as pioneers in sustainable mobility. The successful conversion of the iconic Defender showcases the versatility of our proprietary technologies and unlocking the in-wheel motor in this way will forge a new path for the future.”

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Matt Allan

Matt is Editor of EV Powered. He has worked in journalism for more than 20 years and been an automotive journalist for the last decade, covering every aspect of the industry, from new model reveals and reviews to consumer and driving advice. The former motoring editor of, The Scotsman and National World, Matt has watched the EV landscape transform beyond recognition over the last 10 years and developed a passion for electric vehicles and what they mean for the future of transport - from the smallest city cars to the biggest battery-powered trucks. When he’s not driving or writing about electric cars, he’s figuring out how to convert his classic VW camper to electric power.