London: Jaguar Land Rover has become the latest large carmaker to say it will stop building cars solely powered by internal combustion engines, two months after Volvo pledged to do so, reported the Guardian.
The UK-based manufacturer promised that all new vehicles from 2020 will be fully electric or hybrid, a year later than Volvo’s target, but a big step beyond its unveiling last November of a single electric concept car.
The plan comes after the Scottish government said it would take action to phase out the need for petrol and diesel cars by 2032, eight years earlier than the UK and French targets of banning sales of new cars with internal combustion engines.
Dr Ralf Speth, JLR’s chief executive, said that every new Jaguar Land Rover model line will be electrified from 2020.
While Speth has said he sees battery-powered cars as a way to grow its global workforce of 40,000, the emissions of the carmaker’s petrol and diesel vehicles mean it has to go electric to meet stringent new European carbon targets.
Average CO2 emissions from JLR cars were 164g (5.8oz) per kilometre in 2015, well above the UK average of 121.4g. More importantly, they are a long way from the 95g target a manufacturer must hit by 2021.
Prof David Bailey, an automotive expert at Aston University, said the company had been slow to wake up to electric vehicles.
JLR, a subsidiary of the Indian conglomerate Tata, makes no electric cars but plans to begin building production versions of its battery-powered SUV next year.
The I-Pace will have a range of 310 miles (500km), putting it on a par with competition from US-based Tesla and ahead of cheaper options such as the new Nissan Leaf, unveiled on Wednesday.
JLR has indicated that it would like to build an electric car plant in the UK, similar to Nissan’s Sunderland facility, where the Leaf is built, but it is yet to make a concrete commitment.
Such a move would be a significant boost to the British car industry and follow on the heels of BMW, which in July pledged to build its electric Mini in Oxford. Jaguar sold more than 583,000 cars in 136 countries last year.