Despite comments from company representatives that battery technology is still too immature to allow for the company to release electric vehicles, Jaguar Land Rover recently showcased 3 new electric vehicle (EV) platforms for Concept_e research via the CENEX Low Carbon Vehicle event in the UK. The platforms are relevant both to plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and to pure EVs.
The new platforms are partly the result of a $25 million next-gen power train research program partly supported by the government of the UK. None of the concept platforms are currently expected to be developed into mass-market offerings, however.
As alluded to above, Jaguar representatives have previously claimed that the company wouldn’t be able to satisfy the expectations of its customers with regard to vehicle performance if it offered electric vehicles (this includes PHEVs). Ignoring the question of Tesla’s offerings, but considering the many high-performance PHEVs out there currently, I can’t help but remain skeptical of that assertion.
Electrek provides more on that:
Jaguar Land Rover CEO Ralf Speth had this to say about electric vehicle technology at the Automotive News Europe Congress in Birmingham earlier this year: “Customers are not impressed with it currently. Battery technology today is still too heavy, too expensive and the [power] density is too low. As we learned at school, there’s this correlation between mass and energy and as long as this is not favorable, even if you recuperate, this is an issue.”
Technically he is not wrong, but a lot of other automakers are making it work and the technology is evolving extremely fast. He is the CEO of a company with a century of expertise in internal combustion engines, letting go of such expertise to focus on something entirely new, like electric motors and battery technology, would be an understandably difficult thing to do.
Regardless of those comments, though, the company does seem to be making some first (or second) steps towards the technology and market. Perhaps we’ll live to see the company release an electric vehicle at some point after all?