Jaguar eyes producing I-Pace electric SUV in the UK

Article by Christian A., on December 8, 2016

Nearly all details have been set with regards to the upcoming market introduction of the new Jaguar I-Pace. Its production version was recently previewed at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show. For one, production of the new Jaguar I-Pace has been left in the hands of a contract manufacturer in Austria. However, that does not mean that such a project would only be beneficial to the Austrian labor force. After all, the new Jaguar I-Pace all-electric SUV could still bring a lot of benefits to the workforce in the United Kingdom.

Jaguar Land Rover chief executive Ralf Speth recently revealed that contract manufacturer Magna Steyr is going to build the new Jaguar I-Pace electric SUV in Graz, Austria. This was after Jaguar Land Rover signed Magna Steyr in 2015 to build two of its future models. At the time, the Jaguar Land Rover had yet to disclose which vehicles would be built by Magna, but Speth’s recent words confirmed that the new Jaguar I-Pace would be one of the two vehicles to be built by Magna.

Generally, the name of the game for the Jaguar I-Pace in the UK is local infrastructure. Speth remarked during an industry event that Jaguar Land Rover might assemble some units of the Jaguar I-Pace in the West Midlands. Not only that, Jaguar Land Rover would like to double overall local production from 500,000 to a million cars annually by the end of the decade. However, all of these depend on the willingness of the government to invest in surrounding infrastructure to allow carmakers like Jaguar Land Rover to set up new production sites, especially for electric vehicles. The Financial Times reported that Speth pegged the government investment at around £450 million (about $561.7 million). Jaguar Land Rover assembled around 490,000 vehicles from its production lines in the UK, according to The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

In addition, Speth quipped that Jaguar Land Rover’s ability to create new manufacturing facilities would depend on access to more land for development and significant additional electric supplies, as supported by the “right legislative framework.” Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya, chairman of Warwick Manufacturing Group that is part of Warwick University, remarked that around 10,000 jobs would be created if Jaguar Land Rover could expand to build electric vehicles and batteries in Coventry. Jaguar Land Rover didn’t confirm this figure, but didn’t dismiss it either.

Jaguar Land Rover will start selling the new Jaguar I-Pace in 2018, which is the same year that Tesla and Audi are introducing their own electric SUVs – the Model X and the Q6 – clearly indicating the British carmaker’s willingness to face off Tesla and Audi in the electric car market. The Jaguar I-Pace shown at the LA Auto Show is aimed at showing that it is not only a sporty SUV but is able usable and practically spacious. Its electric motors are located on the front axle and the rear axle to deliver a combined output of 400 hp (298 kW) and torque of 516 lb.-ft. (700 Nm). This amount of power is sent to all wheels for optimal traction, allowing the Jaguar I-Pace electric SUV to sprint from nil to 60 mph in 4 seconds. Power comes from a 90 kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

Source: Autocar.co.uk

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