Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), the UK-based luxury carmaker, will make its Jaguar brand electric by 2025. In a move to make the brand more sustainable, JLR plans to phase out internal combustion engines entirely in the middle of the next decade as part of a set of radical changes brought in by its new Chief Executive Officer Thierry Bolloré, the former head of Renault.
The changes are part of a radical plan he’s calling ‘Reimagine’ – a plan that aims to position the company as a net-zero carbon business by 2039. The goal is for Jaguar Land Rover to streamline both model ranges and become a “battery-first” car company as increasingly stringent vehicle emissions regulations come into force in Europe and elsewhere.
“As a human-centered company, we can, and will, move much faster and with a clear purpose of not just reimagining modern luxury but defining it for two distinct brands. Brands that present emotionally unique designs, pieces of art if you like, but all with connected technologies and responsible materials that collectively set new standards in ownership. We are reimagining a new modern luxury by design,” said Bolloré.
The new electrification strategy will seek to restore Jaguar’s fortunes after a year where sales flagged and the company – now owned by India’s conglomerate Tata Motors – barely stayed afloat. The move will mostly involve a major repositioning of Jaguar, with future vehicles designed to attract future-thinking high-end customers. With this, the luxury brand now aims to increase to double-digit margins over the coming years as it focuses on “profit-over-volume.”
JLR also said that Land Rover brand will produce Six Land Rover EV variants within the next five years, with the first coming in 2024 as it, too, eliminates internal combustion engines.
Initially, electric models would account for 60 percent of Land Rover sales before adopting battery power for every variant. While the company said existing models in both the Jaguar and Land Rover line-ups would continue to the end of their planned production cycles offering hybrids, all models will have “pure electric power by end of the decade.”
Bollore, who took over as CEO in September said the firm is “exploring opportunities to repurpose” the Castle Bromwich plant, (many speculating that it could be used for battery production) and to that effect, the car production will be moved from JLR’s Castle Bromwich factory to Solihull.
The company said it was also investing in developing hydrogen fuel cells in readiness for future demand for hydrogen powered vehicles. This alternative fuel works similarly to electric cars, mixing hydrogen with oxygen to generate electricity and power electric motors. The British carmaker hasn’t said when it will introduce such a car but has confirmed developments are underway and anticipates to have prototypes using hydrogen fuel cells in the UK within the next year12 months.
Car manufacturers worldwide are pursuing zero-emission strategies to meet stringent meet fuel-efficiency targets in Europe and China, as well as customer demand for high-performance electric cars with a luxury or performance feel.
Additionally, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced sales of new petrol and diesel cars will end in the UK by 2030.
Making similar moves, Luxury car brand Bentley Motors, owned by Germany’s Volkswagen, said in November its range will be fully electric by 2030, and General Motors announced last month that it aims to have a zero-tailpipe emission line-up by 2035.
Jaguar’s only electric car at the moment is the I-Pace SUV, which is available in Australia at around AUD 120,000 base model.