Jaguar Land Rover has joined the growing list of firms that are saying yes to electric vehicles. The company announced on Thursday that every car launched from 2020 will be electrified in some way, running the spectrum from fully electric to gas-powered hybrid vehicles.
“We stand on the brink of the mobility revolution,” CEO Dr Ralf Speth said at a company showcase in London. “Autonomous, connected, electrified and shared vehicles. The impact of the changes we are about to embrace will be huge across all sectors of our economy and every section of society – globally. The opportunities are great: enormous social and health benefits, an end to congestion, zero accidents, no more tailpipe pollution and clean air.”
Beyond electric-only automakers like Tesla and Lucid, traditional companies are getting in on the action. Volvo plans a similar transition for 2019, while BMW has plans to electrify the Mini the same year. In a similar vein, Volkswagen has demonstrated an update to the traditional “hippie van,” an I.D. Buzz concept vehicle that’s fully autonomous.
Jaguar showed off a number of ideas about how to reach its electrified goal, combining traditional designs with future-facing concepts. The company demonstrated three cars at the Jaguar Land Rover Tech Fest at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London. The first is a Jaguar E-Type concept car, based on a 1968 Series 1.5 Roadster that uses an electric powertrain to reach 0-60mph in 5.5 seconds:
The second is a Jaguar I-Pace concept car, which will be the company’s first electric vehicle for consumers when it hits the road in the second half of next year. The final car is expected to have an acceleration time of 0-60mph in four seconds, a 310-mile range from a 90 kWh battery, and fast charging to 80 percent capacity in 90 minutes from 50kW DC charging.
“Our challenge was to design an electric vehicle that’s distinctively and unmistakably a Jaguar – and one which demonstrates that an electric vehicle can be visually dramatic as well as practical,” Ian Callum, Jaguar’s director of design, said in a statement.
The third, a preview of how Jaguar sees the future of vehicles in 2040 and later, is called the Future-Type. It’s an on-demand, autonomous vehicle capable of switching to manual driving at a moment’s notice. At the center of the concept is a removable A.I.-powered steering wheel called Sayer. Jaguar suggests that in the future, consumers may only own the steering wheel. Sayer would sit in the home and take commands like an Amazon Echo, and when the user needs a ride somewhere, Sayer can hail an autonomous vehicle to come to its location and start the journey.
“We are not just preparing for the future but delivering it,” Speth said.