Have you heard the news? Jaguar Land Rover have vowed to launch electric models of their vehicles by 2030, with Jaguar to be fully electric within the next four years – by 2025! That is a bold statement!
With Land Rover being a staple marque of the countryside, it is an intriguing, exciting and divisive announcement, but did the world-renowned manufacturers have much of a say in the matter?
Like almost all other vehicle manufacturers, Jaguar Land Rover have been under pressure to reduce Co2 emissions with the introduction of new regulations coming into force across Europe and beyond. Given the diesel sipping work-horses they are famous for, this is even more of a relevant issue, though it does raise the question – how will an electric 4×4 perform when it matters? Towing livestock, off-roading? Tackling muddy farm fields loaded with feed and other essentials or tackling the rugged terrain us rural adventurers are so fond of enjoying in these off-road athletes.
For Jaguar, it is a little easier to envisage with luxury, refinement and a smooth drive being signature qualities of the leisure models, though for the Land Rover fleet, an ability to effortlessly switch between luxury and seemingly limitless capabilities is key and will the ditching of traditional diesel and petrol engines hinder this vital innate characteristic so synonymous with modern Land Rovers?
Paired with the fact that diesel sales have been plummeting over recent years, on top of the notion that the UK government wants to ban the sale of all fully diesel and petrol cars by 2030, this announcement paints a new, evolved picture of Land Rover in the future. We’ve seen the arrival of plug-in hybrids, though a fully electric version of the famously adored Range Rover is an entirely new breed indeed…
Though here in the UK, we are yet to see a capable, practical and affordable fully electric 4×4 that would suit and handle the demands of a real, rural life, America are leading the march with the introduction of electric 4x4s from the likes of Rivian and it’s R1T and R1S models along with Tesla’s promise of the Cybertruck – though this is certainly much less of a practical workhorse more a hunky supercar. Electric vehicles offer instant torque, a key characteristic for a capable 4×4 or pickup, though is this hindered with the reduction of charge? Are we only able to harness the full power of the vehicle on the proviso that our pick-up is fully charged? Well… a demanding, remote lifestyle will challenge this. It’s no good only being able to utilise the vehicle on a fully charged battery. Maiden marques like Rivian are rivalling cherished pickup greats like Chevrolet, Dodge/Ram and Ford. There are whispers of a Ford electric pick-up truck launching in 2021, but it is likely this will debut in the States long before it reaches British shores.
Whatever the future fleet looks like for Land Rover, we are excited to join them on the journey. Just like in every other aspect of life, in order to move forward, survive and thrive one must adapt, our beloved Land Rover is no different. Though we can expect change, we are confident that Land Rover will pull out all the stops and grasp the challenge fiercely. A fully electric Defender or Discovery… what a thing that would be.
Photography by Flow Visuals from our recent trip around the North Coast 500 in the all new Defender 110. Watch the film here.