Jaguar Charges Ahead With Electric Plans

can be reached at nkurczewski@yahoo.com
can be reached at nkurczewski@yahoo.com
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The British automaker is hinging its future on an expanded electric vehicle lineup that starts with the next-generation XJ luxury sedan.

  • Jaguar is planning an entirely new range of electrified vehicles.
  • Production will take place at the company’s historic Castle Bromwich factory.
  • A new battery production site will have an annual capacity of 150,000 vehicles.

Jaguar is betting its future on electric vehicles, and one of the most important steps is having the facilities in which to build them. The British automaker recently announced its upcoming EVs will be manufactured at the company’s historic Castle Bromwich factory in the U.K.

The facility itself dates back to before World War II, when it was the site of aircraft production for the Royal Air Force. Jaguar has been building cars there for more than four decades, though its fate was in jeopardy during recent restructuring, along with end of production for Jaguar’s range-topping XJ luxury sedan.

Castle Bromwich Manufacturing 4
The Castle Bromwich factory, seen here, will begin producing electric vehicles starting in 2020. (Photo: Jaguar)

Yet, with news that the next-generation XJ will be entirely electric, so too comes a reprieve for Castle Bromwich. “The future of mobility is electric… we are committed to making our next generation of zero-emission vehicles in the UK. We are co-locating our electric vehicle manufacture, Electronic Drive Units and battery assembly to create a powerhouse of electrification in the Midlands,” said Prof. Dr. Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover in a statement.

In addition to retooling Castle Bromwich for EV production, Jaguar announced its new Battery Assembly Centre in Hams Hall — located only four miles from Castle Bromwich — will have an annual production capacity of 150,000 units. Jaguar is co-developing future electric drivetrains with BMW, to contain the high cost of engineering next-gen EVs independently. Each company will have its own specific electric models, however, with only the underlying tech shared between them.

In its press release, Jaguar acknowledged that challenges remain in getting consumers to consider an electric vehicle in the first place. “Convenience and affordability are the two key enablers to drive the uptake of electric vehicles to the levels that we all need,” added Ralf Speth of Jaguar Land Rover.  “Charging should be as easy as re-fueling a conventional vehicle.” At the moment, Jaguar’s only full-electric offering is the I-Pace SUV, which has 234 miles of range and starts at approximately $70.000.

WHY THIS MATTERS

Jaguar was first among mainstream manufacturers to take on Tesla with a long-range, luxury EV. This investment makes it clear that the I-Pace was not a one-off project and the British manufacturer is fully committed to electrification.

 


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can be reached at nkurczewski@yahoo.com
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