Jaguar Land Rover to build its EV in Great Britain

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【Summary】Britain’s largest automaker Jaquar Land Rover (JLR) recently released that it will build its electric vehicles in the home country, to help boost the local automotive sector after Britain’s Brexit vote.

Original Claire    Dec 02, 2016 5:05 PM PT
Jaguar Land Rover to build its EV in Great Britain

After showing off its first-ever electric car at the MobilityLA 2016 Auto Show, Britain's largest automaker -- Jaquar Land Rover (JLR) -- announced it will build its electric vehicles in the home country. This will be done, ostensibly, to help boost the local automotive sector after Britain's populist Brexit vote.

This has been done in response to the British government announcing financial support of $484 million to propel the domestic development of electric and autonomous vehicles, as well as supporting EV infrastructure.

"Reliable transport networks are essential to growth and productivity," UK finance minister Philip Hammond said on November 23rd, adding that the funding would "build on our competitive advantage in low-emission vehicles and the development of connected autonomous vehicles."

The government aims to prosper the British auto industry that could -- in theory -- help meet the global auto demand. The world market value will be $1.1 trillion by 2025.

Ralf Speth, Chief Executive of JLR suggested at an industry meeting that the company could bring more production to Britain.

"We want to build our EVs (electric vehicles) in the West Midlands, in the home of our design and engineering." He stressed.

Earlier this month, Jaguar Land Rover's sleek electric vehicle I-Pace caught the attention of car enthusiasts. The new EV has been confirmed to enter the British market in early 2018. JLR said that the car will be built by Canadian contract manufacturer Magna Steyr's factory in Austria. How many units will be produced is a large unknown at this point.

According to Financial Times, JLR told British government that it could bring 10,000 jobs to the UK. But to do so will require large improvements in local infrastructure, including an extra 12 to 15 gigawatts of electricity per year, extra land for development and "the right legislative framework."

"Dr. Ralf Speth has confirmed his vision to double the production output of the business, make EVs in the UK and the desire to make the UK a global center of excellence for battery research and development. However, this is dependent on overcoming infrastructure and capacity issues. We cannot comment on quoted job numbers or a timeframe." JLR said in a public statement.

The British multinational auto company was acquired by Indian automaker Tata Motors in 2014, yet it is still headquartered in Whitney, Coventry, UK. I produced one-third of Britain's 1.6 million cars last year, playing an important role in the UK's automotive industry.

Also responding to British government's funding release was Japanese automaker Nissan. The company said it would build two new models at the country's biggest car plant. Previously Nissan sought a promise of compensation facing Brexit-imposed costs, and Speth also told Reuters that their company wanted "fair treatment" and a "level playing field" from the government.

The company plans to have half of its cars in electric versions by the end of the decade. And Speth even said his ambition was to double JLR's production to around one million vehicles by that time.

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