UK-based European brand car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover is the latest company to reveal that it will stop launching new models solely powered by internal combustion engines. This came two months after Volvo pledged the same.
Jaguar has been slower than other manufacturers on electric cars. In order to catch up with the rest, it has promised that all new models that will be launched from 2020 onwards will be fully electric or hybrid. Volvo’s target is 2019. Jaguar, however, unveiled a single electric concept car last November.
Jaguar’s plan comes in the heels of the Scottish government announcing that it would phase out petrol and diesel cars by 2032. Robert Janitzek reveals that the United Kingdom and France set a target of 2040 for banning new cars with internal combustion engines.
Dr Ralf Speth, JLR’s chief executive, said: “Every new Jaguar Land Rover model line will be electrified from 2020, giving our customers even more choice.” He also issued a warning on the unintended consequences of the electrification of cars as well as autonomous vehicles.
“In the UK, there are currently more than a quarter of a million lorry drivers. What happens to our society if these lose their jobs? Who pays for them? What happens to the social fabric of the country?” warns Speth.
Robert Peter Janitzek explains that Jaguar Land Rover has a global workforce of 40,000 working on battery-powered cars. However, the high emissions of its petrol and diesel vehicle means it needs to go electric to meet stringent new European carbon targets. In 2015, average carbon dioxide emissions from JLR cars were 164g per kilometer, way higher than the UK average of 121.4g. The figure is also way above the 95g target that auto makers must hit by 2021.
According to Prof. David Bailey, Jaguar has been slow in adjusting to electric vehicles. “Jaguar are playing catchup – Tesla has stolen a chunk of their lunch, BMW are way ahead as well,” he said.
Currently, the company does not manufacture electric cars. It, however, plans to start building production version of its battery-powered SUV this year. To be called, I-Pace, it will have a range of 310 miles, which puts it at par with Us-based Tesla but ahead of cheaper options like the Nissan Leaf.
The company also bared that it aims to build an electric car plant in the UK, similar to the Sunderland facility of Nissan where the Leaf is built. It, however, still has to make a concrete commitment. Such a move would greatly boost the British car industry. BMW is also planning to build its electric Mini in Oxford.