JLR’s Electrification Plans See New BEV Flagship

Jaguar Land Rover has announced plans to build a new range of electrified vehicles in the UK starting with a BEV XJ flagship.

This news was confirmed to workers at Castle Bromwich as production of the current XJ came to an end. The new all-electric model will be created by the same expert team of designers and product development specialists responsible for delivering the JLR’s first premium electric SUV, the Jaguar I-Pace.

The news follows the company confirming earlier this year that it plans to bring battery and electric drive unit (EDU) assembly to the Wolverhampton manufacturing center with investment in new and existing facilities. It claims the battery assembly center at Hams Hall will be operational in 2020 with an installed capacity of 150,000 units.

Later this month, work will begin on the installation of new facilities and technologies required to support JLR’s next-generation modular longitudinal architecture (MLA) which will be able to accommodate diesel, gasoline, hybrid and BEV powertrains.

While JLR’s statement was on the whole very positive it did sound a word of caution. Possibly aimed at trying to garner more consumer incentives from the government, the statement added: “However increased consumer take-up remains a challenge.”

Dr Ralf Speth, chief executive officer of JLR, said: “The future of mobility is electric and, as a visionary British company, we are committed to making our next generation of zero-emission vehicles in the UK. Convenience and affordability are the two key enablers to drive the uptake of electric vehicles to the levels that we all need. Charging should be as easy as re-fueling a conventional vehicle.

“Affordability will only be achieved if we make batteries here in the UK, close to vehicle production, to avoid the cost and safety risk of importing from abroad. The UK has the raw materials, scientific research in our universities and an existing supplier base to put the UK at the leading edge of mobility and job creation.”

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

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