It seems like another vehicle with a plug is coming out every other day. A couple of large ones launched in the UK a couple of months ago, on Earth Day, and we didn’t even get around to covering them. Well, part of the reason we didn’t is because they’re plug-in hybrids and we’re not that into plug-in hybrids here on CleanTechnica. That said, if you actually plug in the things, they can cut emissions greatly. Just consider the fact that the vehicles have two powertrains, which means you may have a lot more maintenance down the road than if you get a fully electric SUV like the Tesla Model X, Tesla Model Y, Audi e-tron, or Jaguar I-PACE.
The new plug-in vehicles — as you can see in the headline — are plug-in versions of the Range Rover Evoque and the Land Rover Discovery Sport. I think there’s no denying that they’re attractive vehicles, especially the Range Rover Evoque, but what about their specs?
The Range Rover Evoque P300e has 66 km (41 miles) of electric driving range on a full charge, according to the WLTP rating system, and the Land Rover Discovery Sport P300e has 62 km (39 miles) of range. Not too shabby. If you can charge at home, or even at work, you could probably drive well over 90% of your km/miles on electricity. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the average driver only had to charge every other day. The average daily commute in the UK is just 30.2 km (18.8 miles) — less than half the range of either of these models.
Here are some more pics of the Evoque P300e to whet your appetite before we go further:
Having relatively large batteries for plug-in hybrids (15 kWh energy storage), you can actually fast charge these beasts. Using a 50 kW or 100 kW charger, these vehicles can max out at 32 kW of charging power, which can bring the battery from 0% to 80% charge in just 30 minutes. Using a 7 kW charging port, it takes 1 hour and 24 minutes to go from 0% to 80%, apparently.
One thing that’s often annoying in a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) is that the gas engine will kick in if you accelerate quickly, get to a certain moderate speed, drive up a hill, etc. These models are better than that, giving you 3 modes: electric-only mode, gas-only mode, or a combo. They have enough power in the electric portion of the powertrain that they can get up to 135 km/h (84 mph) on electric power alone! Many a PHEV driver may have their eyes popping out at that figure.
Look, I’ll admit it — I wouldn’t consider or recommend a PHEV. However, if I was going to consider or recommend one, it would almost certainly be one of these — probably the Range Rover Evoque P300e because I think it’s pretty, but the Land Rover Discovery Sport P300e (pictured below) looks okay, too.
I’ll be honest — these are compelling vehicles. They offer an interesting balance of electric-driving potential and carefree gasoline backup. The decently sized batteries, intelligently designed powertrains, and surprising energy efficiency do more than I expected at first glance when I saw the press release.
“Designed, engineered and manufactured in-house, the modular, scaleable and flexible architecture of our Ingenium family has allowed us to create a pioneering, three-cylinder plug-in hybrid system, giving our customers more choice than ever before,” Nick Rogers, Jaguar Land Rover Executive Director of Product Engineering, said.
“The 200PS engine, combined with an 80kW electric motor on the rear axle, gives fantastic all-wheel drive capability and the perfect blend of performance, depending on your driving style. Efficient electrification, downsizing and lightweighting also enables incredibly low CO2 of just 32g/km on the Evoque and 36g/km on the Discovery Sport. Additionally, both vehicles have an awesome impressive all-electric, zero tailpipe emission range of 66km and 62km, respectively. Thanks to the dedication and hard work of our Jaguar Land Rover family, our latest plug-in hybrid offers the same awesome capability and composure with all-electric driving and stunning efficiency, both on- and off-road.”
With the InControl Remote app, you can monitor the battery’s capacity, prep the car’s and battery’s temperature for a coming trip, or even take advantage of a grid’s lower off-peak energy tariffs with a charging timer/scheduler.
Land Rover makes it ridiculously hard to actually find these vehicles on its UK website. It mentions them one or two places, but then when you click through to explore or build them, they aren’t there — only their fully fossil fueled imitators. I eventually found their prices by requesting specification & pricing guides. The “on the road” starting price options for them (before add-ons) are:
- S — £43,850
- SE — £47,350
- HSE — £50,350
- R-Dynamic S — £45,350
- R-Dynamic SE — £48,850
- R-Dynamic HSE — £51,850
- R-Dynamic S — £45,370
- R-Dynamic SE — £48,430
- R-Dynamic HSE — £51,070
My Surprising Conclusions
I honestly did not expect to write a positive article about these vehicles when I opened the press release, but I think they should be a great fit for many families. I could confirm that perhaps if Jaguar Land Rover decided to drop off a review model for me. I wouldn’t take it on a road trip, since I’d prefer to use 100% electricity and the convenient navigation system of my Tesla Model 3, but I would certainly appreciate testing out the appeal of a clean, quiet street giant on the suburban roads of Florida.
Unfortunately, these models aren’t available in the US — so there’s no way I’m going to get a test vehicle — and the Range Rover Sport PHEV and Range Rover PHEV don’t have the same powertrain and have a lame 19 mile range. No worries — there’s approximately 0% chance I’d recommend one of them over a Tesla Model Y or Tesla Model X. However, I also wouldn’t think poorly of someone who preferred the styling, features, service network, or gas backup of an Evoque P300e or Discovery Sport P300e. There are different tastes in the world, and that’s why there are a bazillion different vehicle models. There are perhaps just one or two dozen in Europe and the US that I think are solid vehicle choices, and these new plug-in hybrids actually make the list.
All photos courtesy Land Rover.