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Jaguar to become all-electric carmaker by 2025

Jaguar to become all-electric carmaker by 2025

Jaguar Land Rover, owned by India’s Tata Motors, will invest about GBP2.5bn a year into electrification and related technologies

Jaguar Land Rover electric

Jaguar Land Rover has laid out plans to electrify its lineup under a new chief executive officer, with its namesake luxury-car brand ditching combustion engines just four years from now.

JLR, owned by India’s Tata Motors, will invest about GBP2.5bn ($3.5bn) a year into electrification and related technologies, the company said on Monday.

The Land Rover line will get its first fully electric model in 2024, and by the following year, all Jaguars will be entirely powered by batteries.

“We have the technology, we know how to do it,” CEO Thierry Bollore, the former Renault chief who joined the UK carmaker in September, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television.

Bollore’s shift is poised to be challenging for the carmaker, which was grappling with Brexit, stricter emissions rules and a dip in exports to China even before the coronavirus pandemic hit. JLR has limited experience making EVs, and while it introduced plug-in hybrid variants of models including the Range Rover Sport and new Defender, its only fully electric vehicle – the I-Pace SUV – has struggled to find a mass following.

“Automakers are getting more aggressive with their EV timelines, but some will be harder to meet than others,” said Colin McKerracher, an analyst with BloombergNEF. “Battery prices still need to fall further for mass-market brands to make the jump, but premium brands can get there sooner due to higher average purchase prices.”

Plant Risk
Phasing out combustion-engine models could spell trouble for Jaguar’s Castle Bromwich plant in England, which employs almost 2,000 people making Jaguar XE and XF sedans as well as the F-Type sports car.

The company is exploring ways to “repurpose” the site after the models are phased out and plans to “substantially reduce and rationalise” its non-manufacturing infrastructure in the UK.

JLR may move activities including its high-end special-vehicle operations to Castle Bromwich, Bollore said in the interview. The company will also consider buying EV batteries produced in the UK to meet local-content rules, he said.

Labor Pledges
The UK labor union Unite said it welcomes JLR’s strategy revamp but is supporting the company only if it sticks to pledges that it won’t shutter plants or fire workers.

JLR’s push away from the internal combustion engine is the latest seismic automotive shift driven by stricter emissions rules. Carmakers from German giant Volkswagen to Jaguar’s smaller rival Lotus Cars have announced plans to electrify their offerings as governments around the world increase aid for battery-powered vehicles and put in place rules restricting gasoline cars.

JLR failed to comply with Europe’s tougher carbon-dioxide rules last year and set aside GBP35m to pay for the resulting fines. The UK, its home market, will ban sales of gasoline and diesel cars from 2030, putting further pressure on legacy carmakers.

JLR will introduce six fully electric Land Rover variants in the next five years. By 2030, it expects all of its Jaguar models and 60 per cent of Land Rovers sold to be zero-emissions vehicles.

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