Jaguar Land Rover to Build All-Electric Cars by 2020

On Thursday, Britain’s biggest automaker, Jaguar Land Rover, revealed that it will stop building cars solely powered by internal combustion engines, instead, by 2020 the whole range of Jaguar cars and Land Rover sport utility vehicles will be available in all electric, plug-in hybrid, and so-called mild hybrid variants, as the car maker speeds  up plans to electrify its model range and demand for electric cars continues to rise sharply, according to a report.

It was last year when JLR, owned by India’s Tata Motors, announced it would offer greener versions of half of its new line-up by 2020, but it has now ramped up its plans.

“Every new Jaguar Land Rover model line will be electrified from 2020, giving customers even more choice,” said Dr. Ralf Speth.

The exact date of when the company would stop the entire production of petrol or diesel-only vehicle was not disclosed.

The plan comes after the Scottish government said it would take action to terminate the need for petrol and diesel cars by 2032, eight years earlier than Britain’s plans announced in July of banning sale of such cars to reduce pollution and carbon-dioxide emissions, which are linked to global warming, replicating plans by France and cities, such as Madrid, Mexico City and Athens.

While Speth has said he sees battery-powered cars as a way to increase its global workforce of 40,000, the emissions of the automaker’s petrol and diesel vehicles mean it has to go electric to meet new European carbon targets.

Average CO2 emissions from JLR cars were 164g per kilometer in 2015, well above the U.K. average of 121.4g. More importantly, they are a long way from the 95g target a manufacturer must hit by 2021.

JLR’s announcement comes two months after Volvo, a Swedish brand, said it will offer electric motors by 2019, so they will either be pure electric cars or hybrid that combines electric and conventional engines. The hybrid cars reduce fuel burn by being able to drive short distances or boost performance with the help of electric motors.

A lot of automakers are racing to tap into increasing demand for low-emissions models like Nissan launching a revamped version of its Leaf electric vehicle on Wednesday in a bid to better take on Tesla’s Model 3.

Like a growing number of its rivals, JLR has joined the electric vehicle race with plans to release next year the I-PACE battery-powered performance SUV, which is currently being built at production facilities in Austria. According to CEO Ralf Seth, the company has 25,000 orders for the vehicle already.

“We will introduce a portfolio of electrified products across our model range, embracing fully electric, plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid vehicles,” said Speth, unveiling the switch to electric at the automaker’s inaugural Tech Fest in London.

The I-PACE will have a range of 310 miles, or 500 kilometers, putting it on a par with competition from U.S.-based Tesla and ahead of cheaper options, such as the Nissan Leaf.

The company has indicated that it would like to build an electric car plant in the U.K., similar to Nissan’s Sunderland facility, where the Leaf is built, but it is yet to make a concrete commitment.

Such a decision would be a significant boost to the British car industry and follow on the heels of the BMW, which in July pledged to build its electric Mini in Oxford. Jaguar sold more than 583,000 cars in 136 countries last year.

At  a Tech Fest in London, the company is showcasing several autonomous and connected car gadgets, including a steering wheel called “Sayer,”which will contain speech recognition software, enabling it to answer questions, connect to news, select entertainment and order food.

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