It is hardly news that electric vehicles are the cars of the future. So many companies have joined a growing number of manufacturers in coming up with their own versions, and now the UK’s biggest manufacturer, Jaguar Land Rover, seems to be joining those who are already making EV’s. Although nothing is definite yet, JLR is looking at positioning itself as a leader in the EV manufacturing business in the UK. A lot, the company says, would depend on infrastructure and practical issues.
Ralph Speth, Chief Executive of the company, recently spoke to industry leaders and politicians at a meeting at Warwick University where he announced that JLR has plans to double UK production to 1mill cars by the end of the decade – electric vehicles would form a very important segment of these plans. The idea would be to make half of the company’s vehicle output available as electric vehicles. Further developments by the company would include initiatives to make the UK a leading force globally in terms of battery research and the resulting development thereof.
Designing and building its cars in the UK forms an integral part of how the company sees itself in the marketplace. Even though no specific figures are available yet, some industry sources predict that the current workforce of around 40,000 employees could well soon be more than 50, 000 around its Coventry base if plans do go ahead. The Midlands car giant is not the only manufacturer with plans to expand operations in the UK: Nissan announced recently that it would start manufacturing two new models at Sunderland. This is good news for the industry, especially in the wake of Brexit. Also, after government’s recent £ 390 mill pledge to assist and further the aims of a greener technology, the industry feels much more positive than a few months ago.
Jaguar Land Rover launched its first ever electric vehicle in November at the Los Angeles Motor Show. The eagerly awaited I-Pace is currently seen as a concept car; however, it seems almost certain that a production I-Pace could be ready in 2017 – and in show rooms the next year, even though the company was careful to be specific in terms of exact time frames. Initial manufacturing is planned to take place in Graz, Austria, but expected demand could well see operations moved to a UK plant.
A Matter of Time
Despite uncertainty about when exactly manufacturing in the UK is to start, few would bet, at this stage, against plans to commence soon. When the cars are launched for sale in the UK, it’s fair to say that there will be a huge amount of interest. So that you can make sure to get your hands on one of the first models, you can ensure selling your existing car is a fast process by using The Car Buying Group, then you’ll just need to be sure to get to your local JLR dealership as soon as you can to place your deposit!