JAGUAR and Land Rover will fill their showrooms with electrons, announcing an aggressive push into hybrid and battery-fuelled vehicles.
Jaguar Land Rover chief executive Dr Ralf Speth said that from 2020 all new Jaguar Land Rover vehicles would use electrically assisted drivetrains. “Every new Jaguar Land Rover model line will be electrified from 2020, giving our customers even more choice. We will introduce a portfolio of electrified products across our model range, embracing fully electric, plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid vehicles. Our first fully electric performance SUV, the Jaguar I-Pace, goes on sale next year.”
In a speech that stressed the collaborative social responsibility to develop electrified vehicles, Speth highlighted the benefits of an autonomous, integrated electric future, a future with less congestion, fewer accidents and cleaner air, but also one with notable risks to privacy and freedoms. “The mobility revolution will change lives profoundly,” he noted. “The social consequences of the Industrial Revolution took centuries to resolve. We cannot make the same mistakes with the mobility revolution.”
In delivering this next generation of electrified vehicles, Speth paid tribute to Britain's record of innovation before adding that the country also had a record of failure in delivery.
“The danger of failure is too harsh to contemplate,” came the warning note.
A glimpse of the future came with the Jaguar Future Type concept, a glimpse of what driving in 2040 might be like. A fully autonomous virtual concept, the Future Type explores tomorrow's mobility, where vehicles could be shared not owned. Utilising the Sayer steering wheel as the only part of the car that you physically own, the Future Type considers a flexibility between work, family and play.
Virtual concepts are easy to visualise and build. Developing a range of electric vehicles to beat Tesla and the industrial might of the major German and Japanese manufacturers is a taller order. Speth is confident that JLR is on the right track.