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
Mark Tisshaw
2 mins read
16 September 2019

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."

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. 

Opinion: JLR boss Ralf Speth on preparing for Brexit

New Jaguar XF: 2020 facelift to get interior overhaul

Land Rover Discovery Sport 2019 review


Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

Read our review

Car review
Jaguar I-Pace 2018 road test review hero front

It looks the part, promises 0-60mph in 4.5sec, has a near-300 mile range, and is among the first luxury EVs to arrive from an established brand. Can the I-Pace topple Tesla?

Back to top

Join the debate


16 September 2019
Companies like LG Chem must think that every day is Christians! Lithium batteries are the new gold rush.

16 September 2019

 Better Batteries, better charging infrastructure, these are the two keys things, as for Car prices coming down, well, it’s more like ten than five years......

16 September 2019

Electric cars, while utilising litium ion batteries will never get cheaper.

The world will simply run out of lithium before we can make enough.

BEVs will only reduce in price once we move away from elements which are rare on earth - cabon based batteries exist in a research context. Once industiralised, BEV prices can fall - otherwise they'll only get more expensive.


16 September 2019

 For many more fast charging stations. Petrol companies are wondering what's in it for them so are slow. Until it's at scale electric will be a niche. I guess govt are busy with other things can't think what.


16 September 2019

Tesla solved the problem with their own chargers. Nothing to stop JLR doing the same, or getting into bed with say Renault for a charging network. The iPace seems a little finicky with public chargers anyway. Just put 2 in every motorway / trunk route services... 

16 September 2019

As we all know JLR arent exactly rolling in surplus cash right now

As we all know electric charging stations are rather expensive

And as we all know Tesla have yet to make a profit

16 September 2019

Speth can't solve this without help at the governmental level - or, however unlikely, an energy company seeing an opportunity.

One thought though - JLR dealers are idle at night, maybe that's a parking/charging option in congested areas. Then, to take a leaf from Tesla for JLR to set up a limited infrastructure. Maybe they have enough data on iPace journeys to know where a vehicle starts>charges>stops at the destination. If so it's not impossible to model where a JLR charger might make a difference - for all electric cars OR (like Tesla) JLR-only cars.

This is my simplistic thought and I'm sure there's an expert here to tell me that it can't work - totally OK if you do BTW!


16 September 2019
Perhaps what Ralph should have said is, the price of their electric cars won't get any lower. Other, arguably better, cheaper and longer range electric cars are available and more are coming.

16 September 2019

A very good start would be to break up Ecotricitys Monopoly of Motorway EV charging in the UK.

We are the only country in Europe that has seen fit to allow ONE company (apart from Tesla) to supply 95% of all EV charging at motorway stations in the UK. Their chargers are rubbish and slow and with NO competition they aren’t going to get better any day soon. I’m sure it would be illegal if there was only one supplier of fuel for all motorway stations, heck I’m sure if there was only one type of fast food available there would be an outcry. I can’t understand how this has been allowed to happen and why nothing is being done about it.  Main roads and Motorways around Europe are having 350kw chargers installed. Our old unreliable Ecotricity chargers are being replaced by 50Kw ones in 2019! Virtually no new car in 2019 or 2020 will charge that slow – so at the point of install they are out of date. EV's will never be mainstream without proper modern Motorway charging, Ecotricity are clearly NOT the ones to provide it.

16 September 2019

ZOE £25k, LEAF £28k'ish, base VW ID is meant to come in under £30k.   A Mid-spec Focus Focus diesel Auto with similar performance is around £26k and that doesn't cost pennies to run.

So yes a LEAF does initially cost more but the gap is closing fast.


Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week