According a report by Autocar, Jaguar is contemplating changing over its entire lineup to electric only vehicles. No hybrids, no plug-in hybrids, just pure battery electric goodness. Hooray. This is exactly what CleanTechnica readers have been asking for. At the present time, the only European or American car company making nothing but battery electrics is Tesla.
There are a couple of reasons why Jaguar might do this. For starters, the I-PACE — Jaguar’s new battery electric SUV — is creating a lot of excitement in the marketplace and reservations are pouring in. If Jaguar was concerned that the buying public wasn’t ready for an electric car, those worries have now been put aside.
Second, Jaguar’s iconic sedan, the XJ, is experiencing a significant decline in sales and is due for a complete redesign soon. Wouldn’t it make sense to create a new sedan that can compete head to head with the Tesla Model S and the upcoming Porsche Taycan? If so, it would be a car that cossets the driver and passengers in unparalleled levels of comfort, convenience, and bumpf. You can never have too much bumpf in your life.
The third reason to go fully electric is that Jaguar is a junior partner in the Jaguar Land Rover business model. Land Rover provides most of the sales and most of the profits for Tata, parent company of JLR. Management believes electric power does not fit as comfortably with the go anywhere, do anything, image of Land Rover. There are also concerns that the angular, chiseled styling that defines LR vehicles will not lend itself to the sleek aerodynamics required of a long range electric car.
Finally, electric Jaguars could help raise corporate average fuel economy figures for the the JLR Group in an era of stricter emissions regulations.
All of Jaguar’s current models, including its sports cars, are due to be replaced by updated versions by 2025. That leaves the door wide open for an all new electric sports car from the Leaping Cat brand. In 1962, the XK-E propelled the Coventry company to international prominence. Could lightning strike twice for the company? It will have to go some to compete successfully with upcoming second generation Tesla Roadster but consumers love choices. The aura of the E-Type still envelopes Jaguar in its warm afterglow.
Autocar suggests the plan to go all electric at Jaguar has not yet been approved but is being viewed favorably by senior managers, who see it as a way to position the brand to take full advantage of the coming EV revolution, something many other companies are unable to do.
The Jaguar I-PACE is a wonderful driver’s car. If is has a weakness, it is not quite the computer on wheels that Teslas are, nor does it feature over the air updates or world class fast charging technology. The company makes great cars that offer a high degree of refinement but that may not be enough to catch up with Tesla, which has raised the bar far higher than anyone thought possible just a few years ago. Still, if it transitions to all electric vehicles, it will put pressure on other manufacturers to do the same, which is a very good thing.