Electric Range Rover loses spark

Land Rover Range Rover 2021

Battery Rangey battling development deadline.

JLR’s bold electrification strategy has stalled, due to the global health pandemic.

The company has committed to a hybridized future, with an emphasis on electric vehicles too, but the development of those is proving to be a challenge.

For both Jaguar and Land Rover, future powertrains are an issue. The I-Pace is currently a one-off electric model that is unlikely to be netting the company a healthy profit, yet. The components on an electric vehicle are expensive to source and Jaguar will struggle to achieve economies of scale, until more or even most of its product portfolio has a similar electric powertrain architecture.

The most profitable vehicles, for both Jaguar and Land Rover, are its V8-powered models.

Jaguar was supposed to have publically shown its all-electric replacement for the XJ limousine by now, but that reveal has been pushed out to the end of this year. The same can be said for Land Rover, which was hoping to wow its customers with a battery-powered Range Rover concept, which has also seen its development delayed.

For JLR’s new boss, Frenchman Thierry Bolloré, he takes over at a very difficult time for the company. It is attempting a complicated and expensive transition from internal combustion to battery powertrains, whilst dealing with the challenge of Brexit too.

The original schedule for a global reveal of an electrified XJ and Range Rover were originally datelined for August and September, deadlines which have (and will) be missed.

The crucial problem is that JLR’s most profitable business, the assembly and export of V8-powered SUVs and sportscars, was severely disrupted by the global health pandemic. This is has left it short of R&D budget, straining the development of its all-electric XJ and Range Rover models.

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