The UK Business Secretary Dr. Vince Cable has visited Jaguar Land Rover's headquarters to experience first hand a selection of the latest Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles and hear about the company's plans for environmental innovation.
During the visit Dr Cable saw how Jaguar Land Rover – the UK's largest investor in automotive environmental technologies – has utilised some of the £800m already committed to the development of technologies aimed specifically at reducing tailpipe CO2 emissions. The Business Secretary met with members of Jaguar Land Rover's Advanced Research team who are working on the development of sustainable technologies including hybrids and electrification. These technologies were demonstrated in the form of the Jaguar XJ-based Limo Green and the Range Rover Sport REHEV (Range Extended Hybrid Electric Vehicle) both of which are supported by Technology Strategy Board funding.
The Range Rover REHEV will run as a pure electric car for up to 12 miles in town and the diesel engine and electric motor will combine to drive all four wheels at higher speeds and when off-road. The target for its average emissions is 94 g/km CO2 and a zero emissions range up to 19 miles.
The ultra-efficient hybrid Jaguar Limo Green concept (a collaborative project funded by the Technology Strategy Board) is a Range Extended Electric Vehicle developed in conjunction with Lotus Engineering, MIRA and Caparo Technologies. Based on the new, lightweight, XJ saloon launched in 2010, Limo Green features an advanced electric drive motor, battery pack and a small auxiliary power generator instead of the familiar Jaguar diesel and petrol engines. Limo-Green is targeting CO2 emissions of less than 120gm/km, fuel consumption bettering 57mpg and a top speed of 112mph. The overall range is 500 miles and in EV mode, an impressive 30 miles.
During the visit Dr Cable said, 'The UK excels in making premium and niche cars and these are exported all over the world. A great example of the UK's advanced research and development excellence is Jaguar's Limo Green ultra-low carbon technology project. An executive car that can do more than 50mpg with CO2 emissions from only 50g/km shows Britain’s premium car sector is more than capable of rising to the environmental challenges facing the car industry.'
Also on the agenda was the opportunity to view Land Rover's much-anticipated new model, the Range Rover Evoque. This smaller, lighter, more fuel-efficient addition to the Range Rover line-up will represent a bold evolution of the brand when it goes on sale in 2011. The Evoque will be built at the company's Halewood plant on Merseyside and creates 1000 new jobs – supported by a grant offer of £27 million from the Government.
Carl-Peter Forster, Managing Director and Group CEO of Tata Motors said, 'Jaguar Land Rover has a central role in the UK's automotive landscape supporting over 130,000 jobs and generating almost £6billion in export revenues alone. With annual investment in product creation set to top the £1billion mark Jaguar Land Rover is making a very clear statement of intent for its future and the critical role that manufacturing, engineering and R&D plays in ensuring the UK play its full part in a new low-carbon economy.'
Dr Cable met with the next generation of engineers and innovators undergoing training on the company's industry-leading apprentice and graduate schemes. This year Jaguar Land Rover has recruited over 150 graduates and apprentices to work across its business, all with a common goal – to drive global competitiveness and respond to the challenges of climate change. As one of the country's largest employers of engineering talent, Jaguar Land Rover is proud of the crucial role it plays in developing expertise in this area.