An all-electric version of the new Jaguar XJ has been created in reaction to the emergence of zero-carbon zones in cities across the globe.
A senior insider told Autocar that Jaguar Land Rover envisages some of the world’s most important cities gradually introducing zero-emissions and zero-pollution zones. All vehicles unable to run purely on batteries would be banned from the area.
According to the insiders, only a self-charging electric car could have sufficient zero-emissions range to be practical transport in such scenarios. Although some conventional hybrids do have the ability to run purely on battery power, their electric-only range is limited to few miles.
It’s thought that the electric XJ will be powered by a 145kW, 295lb ft electric motor fuelled by a lithium ion battery pack. The batteries will be topped up by a 35kW, 1.2-litre, three-cylinder generator designed by Lotus specifically for self-charging electric vehicles.
This drivetrain is claimed to offer a range of 600 miles, plus combined fuel economy of 57mpg, sub-120g/km of CO2 and a top speed of 112mph.
Jaguar sources also say that the handling and performance of the electric XJ is likely to surprise people “because of the bulk that’s removed from car when you strip out the conventional drivetrain”.
If, as many expect, future Range Rover models are based on the same floor and crash structure as the new X351-series XJ, the same technology could be applied to the company’s SUVs.
Jaguar and Lotus are now developing the technology with financial help from the British government’s Technology Strategy Board.
Lord Drayson, the Minister of Science, told Autocar last year that electric cars would play a “huge part in the future of motoring in this country”.