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Jaguar confirms full-electric XJ

Electric feel: The I-Pace mid-size is Jaguar’s first full-electric vehicle, but it will soon be joined by the ninth-generation XJ limousine, which will be a zero-emissions model.

Full-electric powertrain locked in for next XJ as part of Jaguar electrification push

Jaguar logo8 Jul 2019

JAGUAR Land Rover (JLR) has confirmed the future of its Castle Bromwich plant in the UK, announcing that it will play a central role in the British company’s electrification plans, which will include a full-electric version of the upcoming ninth-generation XJ limousine.
 
Confirmation of ongoing production at the Castle Bromwich facility comes as good news to the thousands of employees that work there, who were unsure of what the future would hold after production of XJ’s eighth generation came to an end on July 5.
 
As reported, JLR announced in January that it would cut about 4500 jobs from its global workforce, with the UK’s exit from the European Union (EU), a softening Chinese market and plummeting diesel sales said to be behind the move.
 
“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,” said JLR chief executive Ralf Speth.
 
“We are co-locating our electric-vehicle manufacture, Electronic Drive Units and battery assembly to create a powerhouse of electrification in the Midlands.”
 
In order to support the production of full-electric vehicles, the Castle Bromwich plant will have all-new facilities and technologies installed from later this month.
 
These additions are required to support the company’s next-generation Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA) that will underpin its upcoming range of electric vehicles.
 
“Designed and engineered in-house, MLA enables flexible production of clean efficient diesel and petrol vehicles alongside full-electric and hybrid models,” according to JLR.
 
Developed by the team behind the company’s first full-electric model, the Austrian-built I-Pace mid-size SUV, “the new XJ will build on the characteristics synonymous with its predecessors – beautiful design, intelligent performance and revered luxury”.
 
Aside from its powertrain shift, little else is known about the next XJ, but it is expected to launch sometime in 2020 with Tesla’s Model S as its new key rival.
 
As mentioned, JLR announced in January that it will invest in new and existing UK plants, including rival BMW Group’s Hams Hall facility in Birmingham, which will feature a new Battery Assembly Centre from next year. It will have an installed capacity of 150,000 units.
 
This plant will be complemented by the company’s Engine Manufacturing Centre in Wolverhampton, which is the home of its global EDU production.
 
“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 refuelling a conventional vehicle,” Mr Speth said.
 
“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.”
 
As such, JLR used this announcement to call on the UK government and industry to work together on bring giga-scale battery production to the country, which would “create smaller, denser, cheap batteries”.
 
“These critical steps will also support and grow the existing supply chain, making the UK less dependent on essential materials sourced abroad today,” the company said in a press release.

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