Radical Jaguar saloon plotted in EV shake-up

JLR boss Ralf Speth recently told the press that low sales of today’s XE, XF and XJ models would not force the company to leave the saloon market because ‘low-profile’ vehicles will be needed to adhere to the planned EU CO2 regulations in 2030 and beyond. 

The European Commission recently announced that average CO2 emissions of new cars registered in the EU will have to be 15% lower in 2025 and 37.5% lower in 2030, compared with the emission limits valid in 2021, showing the challenge ahead for a firm selling big and heavy SUVs. 

The timeline also highlights a key difficulty facing JLR: would a 2023 plug-in hybrid XE/XF and the XJ be enough to help meet the 2025 targets? 

Another dilemma, Autocar understands, is the likely future take-up rate for premium EV models, which remain a minority choice and dependent on government incentives. 

Last year, JLR’s executive director of corporate and strategy, Hanno Kirner, held a private seminar explaining the company’s future electrification strategy. He revealed the new MLA aluminium platform, which can be used to build international combustion-engined, mild-hybrid, plug-in hybrid or fully electric vehicles. By 2025, all mainstream JLR products will be based on MLA architecture.

Kirner’s presentation also highlighted a further dilemma faced by JLR around the state of EV infrastructure. He pointed out a survey that showed 43% of potential buyers expect EVs to be as easy to recharge as it is to fill up a fossil-fuel car and noted that it takes two minutes to refuel a Discovery with a 18.5-gallon tank, resulting in a “500-plus mile range”. 

JLR expects the big global cities to lead the way in EV adoption, but that customer take-up could differ greatly between Europe, the US and Asia, making it difficult to plan for global vehicles that are still five years from the showroom. 

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