JLR Lightweighting Project for Future BEVs

Jaguar Land Rover has created its own lightweight BEV composite chassis aimed at delivering increased range, greater performance and better handling.

Its consortium backed Tucana project is a four year program developing vehicle and powertrain structures by replacing aluminum and steel with composites capable of handling the increased torque generated by high-performance batteries, while improving efficiency and reducing CO2 impacts. The automaker aims to increase vehicle stiffness by 30%, cut weight by 35kg (77lbs) and enhance the structural crash safety through the strategic use of tailored composites, such as carbon fiber.

Reducing the vehicle body weight should allow the fitting of larger batteries with increased range,  without impacting CO2 emissions. JLR expects to have developed a fleet of prototype Tucana test vehicles by 2022.

The automaker-led consortium brings together world-leading academic and industry partners including the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), Expert Tooling & Automation, Broetje-Automation UK, Toray International UK, CCP Gransden and The Centre for Modelling & Simulation (CFMS). Marcus Henry, research manager at JLR, said: “The development of new lightweight body structures to complement the latest zero-emissions powertrains will be key as the electrification of our vehicle range continues. This project will allow the true environmental credentials of electric vehicles to be realized by enabling wider adoption of the technology and will propel Jaguar Land Rover and the UK supply chain into a world-leading position in low-carbon technology.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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