Jaguar Land Rover has announced plans to manufacture a range of new electrified vehicles at its Castle Bromwich plant near Birmingham. The announcement is the next step towards the company’s promise to offer electrified options for all new models starting 2020.
JLR will first produce the successor to Jaguar’s XJ luxury sedan at the factory. The new all-electric car will be developed by the same team of experts as the Jaguar I-Pace. The electric sedan will be equipped with a 90.2 kWh battery. This should allow for ranges of up to 470 kilometres.
And there is more. Jaguar Land Rover is planning to install a kind of electric car development cluster around the vehicle plant near Birmingham: By 2020, JLR plans to commission a battery assembly centre in Hams Hall that will produce electricity storage for 150,000 vehicles per year. At the Wolverhampton Engine Manufacturing Center, the company plans to manufacture its electric drive units. “We are combining our electric car manufacturing, electronic drive units and battery assembly to create a powerhouse of electric mobility in the Midlands,” says JLR CEO Ralf Speth in a statement.
The company’s current electrified models are also being built in other plants. The PHEV versions of the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport will roll off the production line in Solihull, while the I-Pace will be built to order by Magna Steyr in Graz. A PHEV offshoot of the Range Rover Evoque is due to be launched by 2020 at the latest, but in a different specification than the two large Range Rover models.
Installation of all the new equipment and technology required to support Jaguar Land Rover’s modern Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA) is scheduled to begin this month. The new MLA platform, for which initial details have recently been announced, will enable flexible production of combustion, hybrid and all-electric models. The first MLA-based vehicles will be the Jaguar XJ and the next generation Range Rover.
Jaguar and BMW also recently announced that they would join forces to develop the next generation of electric drives. The development work will be carried out with a “joint team of experts” in Munich. The electric drives will be manufactured separately at the respective locations, according to BMW – in the case of JLR, in Wolverhampton. Both companies would take care to maintain their separate brand-specific core.