Land Rover Is Ready For Electric Vehicles According to Boss

Employees work at the production line inside the Chery Jaguar Land Rover plant phase 2 after the phase 2 opening ceremony in Changshu
Employees work at the production line inside the Chery Jaguar Land Rover plant phase 2 after the phase 2 opening ceremony in Changshu, Jiangsu province, China June 27, 2018. (Photo: REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo)

With the increasing popularity of electric vehicle models in the auto market, established off-road vehicle manufacturers such as Jaguar Land Rover may seem behind the curve with their current offerings. While electrification of off-road vehicles may not be in vogue, it seems that Jaguar Land Rover is ready to fully invest in itself to fill the niche of fully electric off-road vehicles albeit with some challenges.

In a quick interview with AutoCar UK, Jaguar Land Rover Executive Director Nick Rogers mentions that the concepts of electric vehicles are in no way misaligned with the design goals of the company. Rogers mentions that electrification "absolutely fits" Land Rover models and characteristics by allowing finer control and extra power in situations and terrain that the company's vehicles specialize. But Rogers' vision for an electric vehicle may not be easily attainable as simply coming out with an electric Land Rover.

Car Buzz notes that even with Jaguar Land Rover's optimism about adapting electrification, the company will have to take extra care to roll out a fully electric vehicle implementation. While Land Rover already has plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEVs) models, the company still needs to worry about how electric vehicle components will be packaged in future fully-electric Land Rover models.

In addition, the publication notes that Land Rover will encounter pricing concerns that will emerge from production costs of shifting to electric vehicle designs. Car Buzz notes that while companies such as Porsche can look forward to absorbing production costs to ensure a close pricing scheme between standard and electric vehicle models, Land Rover may not have the same luxury. The additional design and implementation work for creating electric Land Rover vehicles may push the prices of initial models higher than standard internal combustion models which could lead to disappointing adaption numbers from Land Rover's market.

The size of the investment for a fully-electric Land Rover is best appreciated with Jaguar Land Rover's own commitment to electric vehicle production and development. According to The Drive, Jaguar Land Rover recently invested around $1 billion to expand its facilities in Changshu, China. The plant will be converted into an energy powertrain manufacturing site with a research and development facility and test track.

The publication notes that Jaguar Land Rover's electric vehicle plans will culminate in the elimination of internal combustion engines from its product line, with the discontinuation of the hybrid J-Pace by 2027. While off-road electrification may not happen anytime in the near future, it looks like Jaguar Land Rover is ready to be a trailblazer with its recent massive investment.

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