BMW and Jaguar Land Rover agree that two car companies are better than one, at least when it comes to engineering future electric cars. The two automakers have announced a partnership to develop Electric Drive Units (EDUs) for the brands’ upcoming electrified vehicles.
- BMW and Jaguar are joining forces to develop next-gen electric drivetrains.
- The move is meant to streamline costs and accelerate new technology.
- Jaguar currently has one electric vehicle on sale in the U.S., the I-Pace SUV.
- BMW has several plug-in hybrid models on sale here, though only on full electric, the i3 hatchback.
The move is meant to minimize both the cost of research and development, as well as lower the price of parts that will be needed to bring these technologies to market. In other words, the two companies realize buying in bulk is better, particularly when stocking the shelves for future EV needs. While the R&D and costs are shared, each company will still build the subsequent EDUs at their own individual factories.
“The pace of change and consumer interest in electrified vehicles is gathering real momentum and it’s essential we work across industry to advance the technologies required to deliver this exciting future,” said Jaguar Land Rover’s engineering director, Nick Rogers, in a press release announcing the agreement. “It was clear from discussions with BMW Group that both companies’ requirements for next generation EDUs to support this transition have significant overlap making for a mutually beneficial collaboration.”
Nothing specific has been mentioned regarding the size, power output, or price point of these future electric drivetrains, or the EVs they will motivate. At the moment, there isn’t any overlap between the two automaker’s electric offerings here in the U.S. Right now, those total exactly two vehicles: The BMW i3 hatchback and the Jaguar I-Pace sport-utility.
Over at BMW, the i3 is available in both electric form, or with a gas-powered range extender that offers 200 miles of driving range. As for the purely electric version of the i3, it has range of 153 miles per charge, which is about the same as the current Nissan Leaf. Unfortunately, the BMW i3 carries a hefty price for a small city-car, with the base version starting at approximately $45,000 (excluding any federal or state tax incentives).
At Jaguar, the I-Pace sport-utility seats five and offers a total driving range of 234 miles. The price of the I-Pace, like the BMW i3, isn’t what you’d call cheap. The base model starts around $70,000, which puts this electric kitty out of reach for many mainstream EV shoppers. Still, the I-Pace is credited with having superb driving dynamics, strong and near-silent acceleration, and a classy cabin. The SUV shape also means there’s a handy 25 cubic feet of storage space behind the rear seats.