There could be a better alternative.
While almost every large automaker is working hard on getting electric vehicles to market, Land Rover hasn't been in a hurry to embrace the all-electric drivetrain. Speaking to Automotive News Europe, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has revealed why there's no rush to full electrification with large SUV's, such as the Discovery and Range Rover models. Jaguar already has the smaller I-Pace and is working on an all-electric XJ sedan, but according to Jaguar Land Rover's engineering head, Nick Rogers, the problem with large SUVs comes down to the size and physics of the vehicles.
"The larger the vehicle the larger the aero challenge. If you're not careful you end up with such big batteries and you make the vehicles so heavy that as you race down the autobahn the range disappears," Rogers revealed.
Although he's quite correct, that statement probably says more about JLR's demographic for the Range Rover and Discovery than anything else. Right now, we're about to see a slew of all-electric large SUVs and trucks from the likes of Rivian with its R1T truck and R1S SUV, Bollinger and its B1 SUV and B2 truck, and Ford with its Mustang 'inspired' crossover and the F-150 truck the automaker has been showing off towing a huge load.
None of those are built to "race down the autobahn" and, despite its off-roading ability and heritage, JLR seemingly has freeway cruising at the front of its mind. Rogers also pointed out reaching zero emissions is a challenge, and that hydrogen fuel cells could be the answer. That could be more than a throwaway comment as JLR recently appointed a new head of hydrogen and fuels cells earlier in the year.
While many have discounted hydrogen as the fuel of the future, certain automakers are still quietly working away on hydrogen fuel cell systems although we are still at square one when it comes to an infrastructure to support it.