Few Land Rovers and Range Rovers ever truly get off the beaten track, but the company is about to pull the handbrake on their ability to venture into remote areas.
Land Rover has announced it will introduce the first of six pure electric vehicles from 2024 – phasing out diesel engines from 2026 – and axing petrol and diesel power altogether by 2036.
Meanwhile its stablemate Jaguar will switch to pure electric power within four years – by 2025 – in a last-ditch attempt to save the loss-making luxury brand.
The sweeping changes are part of a radical plan by Jaguar Land Rover to streamline both model ranges and become a “battery-first” car company amid increasingly stringent vehicle emissions standards in Europe.
Two electric “platforms” will underpin a range of Land Rovers, while Jaguar will base all its future models on just one battery-powered platform.
In an online address to international media overnight, the global CEO of Jaguar Land Rover, Thierry Bollore (pictured below), said Jaguar would be “reimagined” as a pure electric car company by 2025 and Land Rover will introduce six pure electric off-roaders from 2024.
Initially, electric models would account for 60 per cent of Land Rover sales before adopting battery power for every variant.
While the company said existing models in both the Jaguar and Land Rover line-ups would continue to the end of their planned production cycles, all models will have “pure electric power by end of the decade”.
The company also said it would start testing hydrogen-powered vehicles by the end of this year – in readiness for future demand – and promised “the highest level of autonomy” and “connected car services”.
Jaguar Land Rover said it already employed thousands of software experts – who represented one in four of the company’s entire engineering workforce from the UK to China – and it would “nourish” its partnerships with universities to groom engineers for the future.
Including its manufacturing facilities, Jaguar Land Rover said it aimed to have zero net emissions – from the production line to the showroom – by 2039.
“We want to offer sustainable, responsible luxury,” said Bollore, promising the company would be cash flow positive by 2025.
As with many car companies, British brands Jaguar Land Rover – owned by Indian conglomerate Tata since 2008 – have struggled to keep up with the billions of dollars required to invest in future electric and autonomous technologies.
However, the company says its relatively small size – compared to marques such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes – will enable it to pivot to electric cars more quickly than its competitors, and the radical streamlining process will improve its bottom line to become “one of the most profitable luxury manufacturers in the world”.
In Australia last year, Jaguar sales were down by 41 per cent and Land Rover sales were down by 28.6 per cent in a market that had slumped by 13.7 per cent, with neither brand capitalising on the surge in sales of SUVs.