Half of all Jaguar Land Rover vehicles will be offered with hybrid or electric powertrains within five years, company chief Ralf Speth has pledged.
In the wake of the launch of the Jaguar I-Pace battery electric vehicle, which has been described by Jaguar design boss Ian Callum as being as significant as the E-Type, the British manufacturer has committed to an ambitious programme of electrification.
In addition to fully electric cars and a range of diesels and petrols, JLR is developing plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid powertrain options. The company showcased plug-in and mild hybrid versions of the Range Rover Evoque last year.
However, one fuel type that is unlikely to feature in JLR’s future plans is hydrogen. “We are shaping the future, developing our own approach to autonomy, connectivity and electrification to offer our customers more choice,” Speth said.
Jaguar Land Rover has already begun laying the groundwork for its future powertrain plans. Last year it announced it would be doubling the size of its advanced engineering and design centre in Whitley. The expanded facility will house highly skilled product development engineers and support the creation of high-tech, ultra- low-emissions vehicles for customers around the world.
JLR vehicle line director Ian Hoban told that the I-Pace’s electric architecture had been future-proofed for other applications, suggesting it could also form the basis of future Land Rovers. “The technology is vastly scalable and transferable,” he said. “If you get the fundamentals right – stiffness, weight, centre of gravity, immediate torque – it will float the boat of any brand.”
There is also the prospect of different versions of the I-Pace. Hoban said the battery architecture under the new car was flexible enough to be offered with different power outputs. Tesla already offers a range of performance options on its Model S.
“The potential is there, for sure,” Hoban said. “We’re comfortable with how we’re positioning this car in terms of the range and performance. Beyond that, there is a lot of potential to take it in other directions, although this I-Pace will feel plenty quick enough already.”
Speth anticipated that pure electric and hybrid vehicles could account for up to 40% of JLR’s overall sales by 2021.