Jaguar Land Rover to Ditch Diesels for Electrified Powertrains

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【Summary】As part of an investor presentation, Jaguar Land Rover revealed that it would be investing $18 billion into electrification. That’s on top of the $14 billion that JLR has already spent.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Aug 07, 2018 8:35 AM PT
Jaguar Land Rover to Ditch Diesels for Electrified Powertrains

Volkswagen's ongoing diesel scandal continues to develop with Audi's CEO Rupert Stadler being arrested in Germany recently. The German automaker's scandal has painted diesels in a negative light around the world, which has caused a lot of automakers to make the switch to electric vehicles. 

While electric cars were frowned upon before, advancements in range, charging times, and price have made them viable options to traditional gasoline-powered vehicles. Now that EVs are getting good and consumers are moving towards battery-powered machines, every automaker is switching gears to electrify their entire lineup. 

$32 Billion Investment Into EVs

Jaguar Land Rover, which only has one electric vehicle to its name with the Jaguar I-Pace, recently stated hat it plans to invest approximately $18 billion into the electrification of its vehicles over the next three years. That's on top of what the automaker has already spent, which is $14 billion, over the past 36 months. 

The massive investment, as Bloomberg reports, will allow Jaguar Land Rover to make three different versions of all of its vehicles by 2025. The three variants will probably include a gas-only model, a battery-powered version, and a variant that combines the first two – like a plug-in hybrid. While that's the plan, Jaguar Land Rover also stated that it would only build fully electric vehicles if there was enough demand for them. 

Some of the money will go into retooling its six manufacturing platforms in the UK for the switch to electrified platforms. Other portions of the funds will go towards opening a software, information technology and engineering center in Manchester. That facility will focus on developing connected-car technology. 

Why The Sudden Change In Heart?

Making the switch from diesels to electric vehicles is a big one for Jaguar Land Rover as approximately 87 percent of its automotive sales came from oil burners in the fourth quarter of 2017. With Volkswagen's emissions scandal sending a ripple throughout the entire industry, things haven't gone as well as Jaguar Land Rover has hoped with its diesels. 

The automaker stated that its revenue from this year "did not grow as much as we planned" because of the lack of diesel sales. Jaguar Land Rover is hoping to switch gears before it's too late. Some countries are planning to completely ban diesels, so having a plan in place to replace them with something that consumers can actually purchase and drive is important. 

Previously, Jaguar Land Rover claimed that it wanted to offer an electrified variant of every one of its vehicles by 2020. That, though, could have referred to just hybrids. For an automaker that only has a few electrified vehicles to its name, coming out with an ambitious goal to add a large amount of EVs seems like an impossible task. But Jaguar Land Rover has gotten a large amount of demand for its first electric vehicle that's right around the corner, the I-Pace.  

If anything, Tesla has shown the world that demand for electric vehicles is there. It's up to automakers like Jaguar Land Rover to find out what customers want and to deliver it to them. That, though, is easier said than done. 

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