It’s all starting to make sense now, why British luxury carmaker, Jaguar, would dive head-first into the all-electric Formula E racing series.
This week, the company unveiled the Jaguar I-Pace Concept at the Los Angeles Auto Show - its first ever electric vehicle, only in this case, it’s a performance SUV with styling derived from its C-X75 hybrid-electric supercar concept, which we saw at Paris in 2010.
Jaguar Land Rover already has some experience in electrification, gained from its 2012 XJ_e plug-in hybrid prototypes to the 2015 Evoque_e project, which has seen its engineers amass a wealth of knowledge into lithium-ion cell design, electric motor design and state-of-the-art battery and thermal management systems.
The Jaguar I-Pace is a zero-emission, battery electric vehicle that will go on sale early 2018, with a range likely to exceed the concept’s current 500km claim.
Richard Agnew, Global PR Director at Jaguar told CarAdvice, “that the basic battery technology – pouch cells, the amount of cells, and the battery management system are shared (in terms of the basic chemistry and the way we manage the batteries) between Formula E and I-Pace.
“That said, I would say the biggest tangible benefit that we’ll get from the race program, will be in how batteries perform in a very challenging environment over time, and then more importantly, how we manage the batteries to keep them at their optimum performance level.
“With the Formula E car, it’s all about how we manage the loads across the different battery packs, how we manage the temperature of the batteries and how the battery performance changes over time when you’re putting a lot of high current through them”, he added.
Interestingly, Jaguar’s I-Pace already has more power (294kW) than its track-only Formula E sibling (200kW) though regulations allow for that figure to eventually creep to 300kW and beyond.
The I-Pace is still a concept, so expect further development and advancement in the performance arena, above and beyond Jaguar’s 0-60mph-in-around-four-seconds claim.