Currently reading: Jaguar Land Rover boss: electric cars won't get cheaper soon
Ralf Speth claims battery prices won't reduce for five years; better charging network would allow use of smaller batteries

The price of batteries for electric cars won't come down for up to five years, according to Jaguar Land Rover CEO Ralf Speth.

As a result, he wants to see charging infrastructure drastically improve to allow drivers to feel more confident. Should that happen, car makers won't have to fit batteries as large as they currently do to their electric cars, bringing the costs down as a result because the battery is often the most expensive component.

“I hope the infrastructure is fixed,” Speth said. “The price of electric cars is still too high, as we need to do a big range. So, you have a big battery that is needed, as you can’t charge the car. If you can charge, we can make the battery smaller and bring the cost down."

1 Jaguar i pace 2018 rt hero front 1 0

He continued: “There will be no reduced cost for three to five years. We need a more dense charging network, more quality and more quantity, that are more standardised and provide faster charging. You clearly need a good spread across the country, not just in London.”

Speth is convinced that electric cars are the future and that charging infrastructure will catch up as more are made by more car companies. “With more demand for chargers, it will come," he said. "It will come later, but it will come.”

Jaguar Land Rover’s first production EV, the Jaguar I-Pace, officially manages up to 292 miles on a single charge from a 90kWh battery pack, with prices starting from just under £65,000. The firm has only recently gone public with its next EV, the all-new XJ luxury saloon, while plans for further electric Jaguar and Land Rover models are believed to be well advanced. 

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Mark Tisshaw

Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.


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From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.

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voyager12 17 September 2019


THE problem is big cars that need huge battery packs which outweigh the driver 5-7 to one (jaguar iPace close to 600 kg). Makes them costly to purchase, therefore in need of EV tax credits. The car industry is basicaslly blackmailing governments!

lambo58 17 September 2019

I visited my relatives in

I visited my relatives in Weston super mare this lovely weekend and stopped at the membury service station for a break and charge up. It was very nice to meet fellow Tesla drivers with a mix of the S, X and one brand new model 3 happily topping up. We spoke to a fellow ev driver driving a you guessed it an ipace trying to get his car charged at a ev point that wasnt working!

Absolutely pathetic .

Until other manufacturers get their act together Tesla will rule the roost with their incredible supercharger network.

By the way the young man driving his father's ipace admitted he did not manage to get much over 200 mile range.

292 official range my arse

Only if you are driving 50mph everywhere.

Just crap from this mag

Tonrichard 16 September 2019

JLR should join Ionity consortium

Dr Speth is right about the inadequacies of the charging infrastructure but there is a simple answer - JLR should join the Ionity consortium of Mercedes Benz, BMW, VW, Ford and (just joined) Hyundai. This group are building charging hubs throughout Europe and various MSA’s in the UK (they have sites at Maidstone Services and Milton Keynes Coachway). 100 kwh chargers. Still not as good as Tesla’s Supercharger network but in time may Bev second best. I am clinging on to my i3s Range Extender because this give me the flexibility to choose whether to stop for a charge or switch to the REx.