Jaguar Land Rover has confirmed it’s investing hundreds of millions of pounds in its UK plant to build electric cars.
The British carmaker – which is owned by India’s Tata Motors – has scheduled a six-week shutdown at its site in the city of Birmingham to upgrade the technology that will allow it to make EVs.
The investment will prepare the site for the production of an all-electric version of JLR’s flagship XJ saloon. This is expected to be the first of three new battery powered vehicles.
“The future of mobility is electric and, as a visionary British company, we are committed to making our next generation of zero-emission vehicles in the UK. We are co-locating our electric vehicle manufacture, Electronic Drive Units and battery assembly to create a powerhouse of electrification in the Midlands,” said Dr. Ralf Speth, CEO of JLR.
The first new electric car to be produced at the plant will be Jaguar’s flagship luxury saloon, the XJ. The choice of business leaders, celebrities, politicians and royalty for over five decades and through eight generations of production, the XJ is designed, engineered and manufactured in the UK and has been exported to more than 120 countries.
The new all-electric model will be created by the same expert team of designers and product development specialists responsible for delivering the world’s first premium electric SUV, and 2019 World Car of the Year, the Jaguar I-PACE.
“Convenience and affordability are the two key enablers to drive the uptake of electric vehicles to the levels that we all need. Charging should be as easy as re-fuelling a conventional vehicle. Affordability will only be achieved if we make batteries here in the UK, close to vehicle production, to avoid the cost and safety risk of importing from abroad. The UK has the raw materials, scientific research in our universities and an existing supplier base to put the UK at the leading edge of mobility and job creation,” added Speth.
Earlier this year JLR and BMW Group confirmed they are joining forces to develop next generation electric drive units in a move that supports the advancement of electrification technologies.
Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Development commented: “The automotive industry is undergoing a steep transformation. We see collaboration as a key for success, also in the field of electrification. With Jaguar Land Rover, we found a partner whose requirements for the future generation of electric drive units significantly match ours. Together, we have the opportunity to cater more effectively for customer needs by shortening development time and bringing vehicles and state-of-the-art technologies more rapidly to market.”