China is cracking down on the internal combustion engine and the ripple will be felt worldwide.
You could almost hear the cars stop spinning on their pancake displays at the LA Auto Show stop when Jaguar announced the I-Pace SUV. As revolutionary as the I-Pace is, its reveal wasn’t as surprising as the subsequent announcement that the automaker had committed to electrifying half of its lineup by 2020. It’s a reality we’ve seen coming for some time, but it now appears to be upon us. Despite the tough talk, Jaguar still has to deliver, and according to Car Advice, it will do so in baby steps.
The I-Pace is a sign of what’s to come, much like BMW’s i8 foretells a future of the sports car that looks much different than what’s currently in vogue. Still, in order to bridge the gap between the current family of high output engines and full electrification, consumers need an intermediary phase. And so do automakers for that matter because the technology and design of the car of the future is still baking in the oven. To cope, Jaguar will spend the next few years adding plug-in hybrid options to its existing lineup in order to meet its goal by the 2020 deadline. Many of these will hit the dealerships before the I-Pace’s 2018 arrival.
“We will have plug-in hybrids very soon, even ahead of the all-electric Jaguar I-Pace. What we will soon have across the Jaguar Land Rover range, is a selection of plug-in hybrids, as well as more efficient petrol and diesel engines,” said JLR Global Product and Strategy executive, Finbar McFall. Since plug-in hybrids count as electrification, Jaguar and other automakers that have made similar claims will likely follow the same route. Just like BMW did, we can expect Jaguar and Land Rover to electrify its flagships volume sellers. A big part of this push for electrification comes from the Chinese government, which is creating policies that favor EV sales so that the world’s largest car consumer can clean up its polluted cities.