Jaguar Land Rover to build electric cars in the UK
Jaguar Land Rover CEO Prof Sir Ralf Speth makes
a bold claim with the Destination Zero message: zero emissions, zero accidents
and zero congestion. While the attainability of all these elements might be
arguable, the ethos is sound and it is backed-up by the company’s latest
announcement that it will build a range of new electrified models here in
Jaguar Land Rover has already started the
journey with its remarkable, all-electric Jaguar I-PACE and models such as the
new Range Rover Evoque are designed to use mild hybrid technology. The next big
model will be the fully-electric new Jaguar XJ, top-end saloon.
The latest announcement reflects the next stage
of Jaguar Land Rover’s electrification strategy, following confirmation in
January of plans to bring battery and Electric Drive Unit (EDU) assembly to the
Midlands with investment in both new and existing facilities.
A new Battery Assembly Centre at Hams Hall will be
operational in 2020 and promises to be the most innovative and technologically
advanced in the UK. It complements EDU production at the Wolverhampton Engine
Manufacturing Centre (EMC) and is essential for the next generation of both
Jaguar and Land Rover models.
Jaguar Land Rover will use this new technology
in its Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA); this platform enables flexible
production of diesel and petrol vehicles alongside full electric and hybrid
Electrification of vehicles requires
considerable battery manufacturing capacity - something we have seen limit
availability of other manufacturers’ electric models - and so Jaguar Land Rover
is calling on government and industry to work together to bring what it calls
giga-scale battery production to the country.
The initiative builds on the UK Battery
Industrialisation Centre and the government’s Faraday Challenge to drive the
next generation of battery technology to create smaller, denser and cheaper
batteries. With fears of a no-deal Brexit, these steps will concentrate on
growing the existing supply chain, making the UK less dependent on essential
materials currently sourced abroad.
It's good news
The announcement provides much-needed confidence in the motoring sector, brings home the message that electrification is here to stay and specifically, secures jobs throughout the Jaguar Land Rover supply chain, notably at the manufacturing plant in Castle Bromwich.
About the Author
Andrew is a freelance motoring journalist with a background in IT and the vehicle leasing industry. With a lifetime’s passion for all things automotive, he can be found behind the wheel of everything from vans to supercars. In addition to reviewing the latest vehicles and technology, Andrew also runs a couple of classic British motors. He lives at the edge of the Peak District with his son and cat.
Andrew Wright @theMotorWriter