Jaguar Land Rover is in discussions with other car makers over a potential partnership on hybrid vehicles in a bid to reach European CO2 emissions targets.
JaguarLand Rover director of research and technology Wolfgang Epple told industry journal Automotive News Europe that, “some discussions have taken place with other manufacturers”, though he would not name names.
Previously involved in cost-saving hybrid collaborations with General Motors and Daimler Chrysler in his former role as vice president of hybrid technology at BMW, Epple said in the past this resulted in each manufacturer building its own car and sharing components.
Driven by 2015 European Union CO2 fleet average targets of 130g/km, JLR will start selling its Range Rover Hybrid and Range Rover Sport Hybrid models in Europe from early 2014 and in Australia from the second quarter of 2014.
A report by analyst Bernstein Research concluded that hitting future fuel economy and CO2 emissions targets is “arguably the single biggest challenge for JLR” with the manufacturer needing to fit hybrid technology to a greater proportion of its vehicles than almost any other in order to reach those goals.
Despite the overall industry benchmark, JLR says it’s targeting a marker of 164g/km, reflecting the higher average vehicle weight of its fleet.
Dubbed ‘Evoque_e’, the two-year £16.3 million ($27.8 million) UK government Technology Strategy Board project will see Jaguar Land Rover team with 11 industry and university partners, including Williams Advanced Engineering, Delta Motorsport, Tata Steel, and the universities of Bristol, Cranfield and Newcastle.