Jaguar Land Rover to Offer Electric or Hybrid Powertrain on Every New Model Starting in 2020
JLR joins Volvo in going all-in on electrified mobility.
Following Volvo's announcement in July, Jaguar Land Rover is becoming the second major automaker to officially confirm that it will offer electrified powertrains in every new model starting in a few years' time.
After 2020, every new Jaguar and Land Rover will have a mild hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or all-electric powertrain, the company announced at its inaugural Tech Fest in London. The declaration matches that of Volvo, although the Swedish automaker plans to usher in electrification even earlier, starting in 2019.
But JLR may face more challenges in implementing its ambitious electrification plans than Volvo. For starters, it has more ground to cover. While Volvo already has several plug-in hybrid models in its relatively small lineup, JLR doesn't currently have any electrified models. (Jaguar will launch its all-electric I-Pace SUV next year, though.)
JLR also has a larger and more diverse lineup of vehicles than Volvo. That means it may need to develop a greater array of powertrains than the Swedish automaker to cover all of the bases. Certain models—like the Land Rover Range Rover and Jaguar F-Type—may also prove trickier to electrify than run-of-the-mill sedans and crossovers.
The company's mention of mild hybrids provides a clue as to how JLR will accomplish this. Unlike Toyota Prius- or Chevrolet Volt-spec full hybrids, mild hybrids only provide a limited amount of electric assist to the gas engine. Instead of propelling a car solely on electric power, they simply provide a boost that takes some stress off the internal-combustion engine.
The flip side of that limited capability is that mild hybrid systems are easier and cheaper to integrate with vehicles than more complex full-hybrid setups. Mild hybrids also generally feel more like conventional cars from behind the wheel. It's entirely possible that the majority of JLR's new electrified models will be mild hybrids, so the change won't be as dramatic as it might seem.
Volvo may also lean heavily on mild hybrids to achieve its electrification goal. It has the advantage of allowing a gradual transition to electric power, rather than an abrupt shift. But either way, stricter emissions standards will likely force automakers to get more aggressive about electrification. In addition to JLR and Volvo, the bosses of Maserati and Aston Martin have hinted that those automakers will electrify their entire lineups.