Jaguar Land Rover has revealed plans to manufacture a range of new electrified vehicles at its manufacturing plant in Castle Bromwich.
Prof Dr Ralf Speth, chief executive Officer of Jaguar Land Rover, said: “The future of mobility is electric and, as a visionary British company, we are committed to making our next generation of zero-emission vehicles in the UK.
“We are co-locating our electric vehicle manufacture, Electronic Drive Units and battery assembly to create a powerhouse of electrification in the Midlands.”
The first new electric car to be produced at the plant will be Jaguar’s flagship luxury saloon, the XJ. The news was confirmed to workers at Castle Bromwich as production of the current XJ came to an end.
The new all-electric model will be created by the same team of designers and product development specialists responsible for delivering the world’s first premium electric SUV, and 2019 World Car of the Year, the Jaguar I-PACE.
This announcement safeguards several thousand jobs in the UK and is the next stage in execution of Jaguar Land Rover’s electrification strategy. In January the company confirmed plans to bring battery and Electric Drive Unit (EDU) assembly to the Midlands with investment in new and existing facilities.
The new Battery Assembly Centre at Hams Hall, operational in 2020, will have an installed capacity of 150,000 units.
The expansion of Jaguar Land Rover’s electrified vehicle line up will see customers offered a greater choice of vehicles to suit their lifestyles. However increased consumer take-up remains a challenge.
Prof Dr Ralf Speth said: “Convenience and affordability are the two key enablers to drive the uptake of electric vehicles to the levels that we all need. Charging should be as easy as re-fuelling a conventional vehicle.
“Affordability will only be achieved if we make batteries here in the UK, close to vehicle production, to avoid the cost and safety risk of importing from abroad. The UK has the raw materials, scientific research in our universities and an existing supplier base to put the UK at the leading edge of mobility and job creation.”
Jaguar Land Rover has called on government and industry to work together to bring giga-scale battery production to the country. This builds on the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre and the government’s Faraday Challenge, essential for next generation battery technology to create smaller, denser, cheaper batteries. These critical steps will also support and grow the existing supply chain, making the UK less dependent on essential materials currently sourced abroad.