Jaguar Challenges Oxford Dictionary to Change Definition of ‘Car’ on Behalf of EVs

The book's current definition doesn't make any specific mention of battery-powered cars, and the maker of the I-Pace is petitioning to fix that.

In a move straight out of Elon Musk’s playbook, Jaguar has complained that the esteemed Oxford English Dictionary (OED) doesn’t properly acknowledge its award-winning I-Pace as a car.

Jaguar says that even though its I-Pace won the 2019 World Car of the Year award in April, the I-Pace, being electric, doesn’t fit the OED definition of “car,” as follows.

a road vehicle powered by a motor (usually an internal combustion engine) designed to carry a driver and a small number of passengers, and usually having two front and two rear wheels, esp. for private, commercial, or leisure use

Oxford English Dictionary

In the hopes of having this language addressed, Jaguar declared in a press release that it has submitted a formal application to the Oxford University Press to have the word’s definition altered to accommodate electric models such as the I-Pace (as if use of the word “usually” didn’t already).

“A lot of time and thought is put into the name of any new vehicle or technology to ensure it is consumer-friendly, so it’s surprising to see that the definition of the car is a little outdated,” said the head of Jaguar Land Rover’s naming committee, David Browne. “We are therefore inviting the Oxford English Dictionary and the Oxford Dictionaries to update its online classification to reflect the shift from traditional internal combustion engines towards more sustainable powertrains.”

In approving this bizarre marketing campaign, one markedly less appealing than its ongoing Tesla Conquest—which offers significant discounts to owners of Tesla vehicles—Jaguar has moved to capture the minuscule markets of people interested in the English language or semantics.

Both these demographics, however, are largely made up of Saab loyalists, with little interest in buying an electric car. Building one? That’s another story.