Electric Land Rovers on the way

Land Rover responds to UK Government clean air announcement with promise of electric models

The UK Government’s announcement that new petrol and diesel vehicles will be sold from 2040 was met with concern in many quarters, but it’s something that car-makers are already working towards, in fact Jaguar Land Rover will have an electric-powered vehicle as an option in every new vehicle line the company produces from 2020.

The company will be the first premium car make offering a full electric vehicle – the Jaguar I-Pace – in 2018 and this will be followed by vehicles in every new product line.

Land Rover has dabbled with electric power before. Fully electric Defenders were tested a few years ago and some are still working hard, and before that there were some full-electric Series Land Rovers used for covert military work. And, of course, hybrid Range Rovers have been around for a while, offering significant improvements over standard engines, if very little actual range under electric-power.

Jeremy Hicks, Jaguar Land Rover UK Managing Director, said: ‘We welcome the clarity provided on the transition to a future where electric cars are the norm. However, only one per cent of cars driven in the UK today are electric. While we fully recognise that zero emissions are the future, there are no guarantees that we will get the take-up of electric vehicles at the rate and scale government would like without the appropriate financial incentives and charging infrastructure.

‘Therefore new, clean diesel and petrol engines will retain a key role in controlling carbon emissions and restricting air pollution. We’re pleased to see the plan recognise the fundamental difference between older vehicles which contribute to air pollution and newly developed engines (known as Eu6) which are part of the air quality solution.'

He continues to say: ‘Vehicles are just one potential source of urban air pollutants, and we’d be keen to see the plan also tackling air quality across a range of pollution sources including domestic and commercial heating.’

Of course, vehicles can only be as green when they’re driven as the energy they use – if we’re burning fossil fuels to power electric cars, they aren’t really ‘green’, just pushing the pollution elsewhere.

Technology is improving, as is our ability to harness renewable energy – the struggle now is to give the vehicles the ability to continue to work in remote places.

After all, you don’t find many charging stations in the Sahara…

Engine bay in electric Defender

Engine bay in electric Defender