The rumour mill is working overtime with news that Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is developing a new electric car.
It is presumed that the E-PACE will be an SUV crossover with a ‘steeply raked windscreen and a tapered rear end’ and a variant of the F-PACE created by Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria. It is expected to be announced when JLR make the switch from V6 to inline 6 engines in 2017.
JLR are not concerned only with performance of its cars, but with efficiency, technology and economy. All-electric crossovers certainly achieve this. Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover comments, ‘I’m absolutely convinced that an electric machine is an interesting concept, but I’m concerned by the current state of battery technology. We are still far from an ideal ratio of energy density and weight of the batteries — not to mention their cost. The range is not the core issue. You can achieve any range you want with electric vehicles. It’s only a question of how many battery stacks you will have and how many kilograms you will carry around. A 2.4-ton [electric] sedan is not an environmentally friendly vehicle. We have targets in kilowatt power, in density and in weight, and we need breakthrough technologies to get there. What we hear from experts is that these [breakthroughs] will take a little bit longer than everyone expects. I think it’s a matter of time when it comes to the development of battery technology. The electric motor is very nicely defined. Battery management is not a problem. It’s the chemistry, the physical elements of the battery that require a breakthrough.’
Keep up to date with all the latest news on electric vehicle developments from JLR by keeping an eye on the Jardine Motors Jaguar and Land Rover websites.