British automaker targets 50 percent of its lineup to go all-electric

No matter where you look in the auto industry these days, every automaker worth its salt is making plans for zero emissions vehicles. BMW wants a 25-percent share of the EV market by 2025. Toyota’s planning to “mass produce” EVs by 2020. That same year, Kia wants to launch 14 new alternative powertrain models. Today, fresh off of introducing the I-Pace Concept, Jaguar Land Rover has officially made its EV plans known, and it involves injecting close to $3.7 billion into research and development of EVs with the goal of creating electrified options for half of its entire lineup by 2020.

The ambitious goal is par for the course in a business where rivals like Mercedes (10 EVs by 2025) and Porsche (Mission E family of EV models) are doing something similar. That’s where the industry is headed, and JLR is making sure that it doesn’t get left behind.

A big part of the company’s plan is to push the development and expansion of its powertrain and design center in the UK. That not only involves doubling the facility’s actual size in the next few years, but also beefing up its workforce to accommodate the increased attention put into its future EVs. In some ways, the British automaker has already started in that road, investing close to $375 million in electrical engineering while also hiring more than 20,000 employees to go along with the 40,000-strong workforce it already has.

Just as important to this goal is the development of the I-Pace Concept, the electric SUV that was recently shown at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show. The model, according to Jaguar chief designer Ian Callum, is the “most important” Jaguar since the E-Type, a label that carries more than its fair share of pressure as the company’s first foray into the world of EVs.

Ultimately, Jaguar hopes to build on what it started with the I-Pace Concept and while it doesn’t have specific plans yet on the other models that will get electrified in some form or fashion, the long-term objective of having half of its models come with electrified options by 2020 has been set.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

The more, the merrier

Think Jaguar, BMW, Toyota, Kia, Mercedes, and Porsche are the only ones planning for an electrified future? Guess again. All these automakers have specific plans of their own but they’re not the only ones.

Renault, for one, is taking a different approach with plans to sell electric vehicles in China for as low as $8,000 once all of the Chinese government’s incentives are factored in. Volkswagen and General Motors also have plans to hit the Chinese market hard with their own EVs. VW, in particular, introduced the ID Concept at the 2016 Paris Motor Show and it’s already scheduled to hit dealerships by 2020, becoming the first mass-produced model wearing the Volkswagen badge.

The high-stakes game of electrification isn’t just limited to mainstream brands either. Premium brands like Maserati and Porsche are also getting in on the fun. Maserati, for instance, is building its own electric vehicle that’s due in 2020 while Porsche is reportedly taking things to higher level with its own reported plans of building using the Mission E as the foundation for an entire family of EV models.

These are just a small sample of automakers that have fully committed themselves to electrification. Tesla’s still leading the charge in this regard, but there are also startups that are joining in like NextEV, Lucid Motors, and Faraday Future, among others.

For its part, Jaguar won’t have the distinction of being one of the first brands to offer an electric vehicle. But still, it’s better to be late to the party - from a planning standpoint that is - than to not even show up for said party.

Read our full review on the Jaguar I-Pace here.

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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