Jaguar Land Rover to join the “Electric Only” Club by 2020

Jaguar Land Rover has followed Volvo’s initiative and announced that it too will be ending its reliance on the internal combustion engine and only selling all electric or hybrid cars by 2020; this is despite not making ANY electric vehicles at present.

The UK-based but Indian-owned manufacturer is the largest of the large manufacturing companies to have made the pledge to be only manufacturing fully electric or hybrid cars, even though it was only in November 2016 that it unveiled its first electric-powered concept car.

image: Jaguar USA

The initative could be the result of the Scottish Assembly saying that it would phase out the need for petrol and diesel cars by 2032, which of course is eight years before the rest of the UK (of which Scotland is still a part of) will do so and also eight years ahead of the rest of Europe, of which it will not be a part of by 2032 after BREXIT. JLR’s head honcho, Dr Ralf Speth, claims that all JLR’s offerings will be electrified in some way, shape or form, giving greater choice to its customers. But don’t be fooled by this announcement—when JLR says that all of its vehicles will be electrified, it doesn’t mean that it will be discarding the petrol or diesel engines any time soon, but it will be trying to reduce the product line’s carbon footprint by augmenting the combustion process with hybrids.

Currently, JLR’s line up is pretty dirty, with average CO2 emissions at 164g per kilometre, which is well above the UK average of 121g and woefully far from the 95g target that manufacturers must meet by 2021. Adding a hybrid unit to any car will reduce fuel consumption and, thus, emissions by harvesting the speed during breaking, storing it in a battery, and then releasing it via an electric motor once you accelerate again. For the bulk of the time, though, it is the good old-fashioned combustion engine taking the strain.

In much of Asia, we don’t seem to give a hoot about CO2 emissions standards, but in most developed economies, particularly northern Europe, your car is actually taxed on the amount of emissions it produces. Thus, manufacturers will have a very wary eye on the official emissions figure from their vehicles, as this will impact running costs and sales. Perhaps this is why VW cheated on its emissions figures.

But really, Jaguar is actually behind the market at the moment, and whilst it has some great products out there, it is playing catch up. The likes of Tesla has already taken a chunk of the market and BMW is streets ahead as well. JLR, on the other hand, is very dependent on diesels, and the market in Europe is moving away from them rapidly at the moment.

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