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Jaguar cars go electric (kind of)

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has announced that all new Jaguars will be fully-electric by 2025, but the picture is more complicated than it seems.

In a major update of its strategy, the company has confirmed that all new Jaguars will be developed as pure electric vehicles, with the transition fully complete by 2025.

This marks Jaguar out as a leader in electrification among global car brands. It already has form in the shape of its multi-award winning I-Pace model (main image), which won the coveted ‘World Car of the Year’ award at the 2019 World Car Awards.

BMW, a key competitor, has failed to commit to a hard target while even Toyota, a current leader in electric and hybrid vehicles, is only planning for electrified vehicles to make up 50% of its sales by 2025.

Progress will also be slower at Jaguar’s much bigger sister brand, Land Rover, which won’t offer pure electric versions of all its models until 2030.

Great progress – but challenges remain for electrification

As well as shifting public opinion, it is likely that the UK government’s decision to ban petrol and diesel car sales (including hybrids) from 2030 onwards heavily influenced JLR, which relies on the country for a large proportion of its sales.

However, petrol and diesel phase-out dates vary by nation, while the USA for example has yet to set any target date at all.

There is a danger that auto manufacturers will appear to have electrified over the coming years, while continuing to sell petrol and diesel models in certain jurisdictions. Although planning an all-electric line up in the UK, JLR is still expecting 40% of global Land Rover sales to be made up of non-electrified models in 2030.

The electrification of vehicles themselves is also only part of the challenge – building and transporting them around the world can be a carbon intensive and dirty process. JLR does not expect to achieve carbon neutrality across its supply chain, products and operations until 2039. While the company deserves credit for acknowledging this issue, it is clear that consumers and governments will need to ensure firms do not simply shift the environmental impacts of seemingly-clean electric vehicles out of sight.



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