Land Rover have declared their commitment to electric vehicles with new models hybrid and electric only from 2020.

VOLVO RECENTLY STATED that all their vehicles will be either electric or hybrid after 2019, and now Jaguar Land Rover have followed suit.

Dr Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover Chief Executive Officer, said: “Every new Jaguar Land Rover model line will be electrified from 2020, giving our customers even more choice. We will introduce a portfolio of electrified products across our model range, embracing fully electric, plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid vehicles. Our first fully electric performance SUV, the Jaguar I-PACE, goes on sale next year.”

A fully-electric car is self explanatory and the best known examples are Teslas. A hybrid uses an internal combustion (IC) engine, either petrol or diesel, in conjunction with an electric motor. Examples are the Prius, and hybrid versions of Camry and Corolla. A “mild hybrid” is a hybrid that is primarily a vehicle with an IC engine and the electric as supplementary, as most hybrids are these days. And a plug-in hybrid is one that can be plugged in to charge its battery, something we don’t often see in Australia – our hybrids tend to be charge their battery only when driven, via a combination of regenerative braking and direct engine charge.

Tesla already make an SUV, the Model X, but it does not have the offroad or tow capability you’d expect from a Land Rover.

Land Rover has been experimenting with hybrids and electrics for some time, including the electric Defender pictured below.

There is a production diesel-electric Range Rover Sport mild hybrid (non-plug-in) on sale now:

That car’s electric range is severely limited though, more in the hundreds of metres than hundreds of kilometres. However, it does accelerate from 0-100 quicker when its battery is charged than when it is not.

The interesting news is when we consider this announcement in context of the new Defender, which rumours say be will released anywhere between late 2018 and some time in 2020.

We have to assume that the next Defender will be a hybrid if it’s 2020 or after. Or maybe it would be the last non hybrid made before the 2020 cutoff. Even if it’s made available before 2020, there may be a hybrid version, or at least the architecture designed for it.

And much depends on what “new” means in the announcement; would that include upgrades like when the Discovery 3 became the Discovery 4, or complete changes only such as the recent change to the L462 Discovery? If the definition of “new” is tight enough, then it could be a long time before the company’s range is 100% electric or hybrid.

Land Rover is not alone in the hybrid 4×4 space as we do know there is a “mild hybrid” Jeep Wrangler in Jeep’s future plans, as described in their business plan.

What do you think of the next Defender being a hybrid?


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