Jaguar Land Rover and BMW models to go electric from 2020
By Kalendra Withana
 
Luxury car manufacturers Jaguar Land Rover and BMW have announced plans to specialise in electric or hybrid vehicle lines from 2020.
For both JLR and BMW, it is anticipated that the new models will have engines that are going to be either purely electric or a combination of electric and conventional counterparts.
 
Two months ago, Swedish manufacturer Volvo unveiled a similar plan for going electric by 2019. This goes to show that the market for petrol and diesel-powered cars is declining, with there being an increasing tendency for modern vehicles to be ‘eco-friendly’ in order to meet current carbon emission targets.
 
JLR hopes to reveal its first fully electric powered car by next year, with this type of model being named as ‘the I-PACE’. However, there are no current plans to put the vehicle into production.
 
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Speaking on behalf of his company, chief of JLR Ralf Speth said that the introduction of electric or hybrid vehicles into the market would give customers a greater diversity of choice.
 
Mr Speth has however demonstrated a concern for the unintentional consequences of the newly growing electric car market. He warns that the masses of lorry drivers in the UK are now going to be susceptible to having ‘driverless technology’ and this will inevitably demonstrate an impact on society.
 
The Guardian have reported that JLR have also indicated the desire to build an electric car plant within the UK, like its fellow Japanese manufacturer Nissan. However, further details of the actual plan still need to be confirmed by the British company.
 
As for BMW, 12 fully electric and 13 hybrid vehicles are planned to be unveiled by 2015, with the carmaker’s first electric Mini expected to be released in 2019. 
 
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Klaus Fröhlich, member of the Board of Management for BMW, said:
 
"The trend towards electric mobility is irreversible. But it will happen in different ways and at various speeds in different parts of the world. The change in China is just one example."
 
In talking to an audience in London, JLR chief Speth conveyed how vital governmental collaboration is for the running of the electric car industry. He therefore asked the question of whether the UK Government was working effectively enough on infrastructure in order to make sure that these vehicles can actually be used on the road.
 
“Where is the network of charging points that they [electric cars] will require to function? Indeed, where is the power grid that will allow us to build them?” Speth questioned.
 
In catering towards the uprising electric market however, the UK Government has recently announced plans to abolish the sale of diesel and petrol cars from 2040.
 
Despite plans to go electric however, it has been reported that both JLR and Volvo will still continue to sell cars that have the conventional combustion engines. With regards to this, Mr Speth said: "The internal combustion engine is state of the art,"
 
"We will see this internal combustion engine, petrols and diesels, for many years to come." the Chief added.
 
Sources – Sky News, The Guardian, BBC News
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