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Q & A: Jaguar’s electric vehicle strategy stretches across the past & future

While Jaguar understands that electric vehicles represent the future, it also understands its legacy as an automaker, and is thus electrifying one of its older model cars.

Jaguar is among the car brands participating in the Middle East's first-ever e-MotorShow Jaguar has given us an expected time frame for the MENA release of its first EV, the Jaguar I-Pace "By 2020, every new Jaguar vehicle will have the option of electrification" - Salman T. Sultan, Regional Public Relations and Social Media Manager at Jaguar Land Rover MENA

For the first time in the Middle East, the region will witness a motor show dedicated entirely to Electric & Hybrid vehicles: The e-MotorShow® Middle EastIt will take place in Beirut, Lebanon from April 11th to April 15th.

Ahead of the event, AMEinfo got to speak with one of the participating car brands: Jaguar.

Speaking with Salman T. Sultan, Regional Public Relations and Social Media Manager at Jaguar Land Rover MENA, we learned about Jaguar’s first, very own electric vehicle (EV), the I-PACE, as well as the time frame of its MENA release.

However, while Jaguar understands the importance of future-proofing its latest line-up through electrification, it is also taking a trip into the past, offering its customers the opportunity to convert their older, classic “Type-Zero”s into green machines!

What are Jaguar’s business objectives from participating at the e-MotorShow this year? (Branding? Awareness? Sales? Orders?) 

The e-MotorShow is the first auto show in the region dedicated entirely to electric and hybrid vehicles and we are proud to be a part of it. 

We were the first premium automotive manufacturer to launch a premium electric vehicle. The all electric Jaguar I-PACE is our latest SUV from the PACE family that is at the forefront of electric vehicle technology. We already have 60 patents and 220 pending for electrification technologies that saw their debut with the I-PACE. We have extensive knowledge in materials and composites, as well as skills in battery system integration and we are proud to share this knowledge with the automotive enthusiasts in the region. 

This motor show is a great opportunity for us to introduce Jaguar I-PACE to the market and to engage with our local and regional customers.

Why does Jaguar need to join the EV market at this point in time? 

Electric and hybrid vehicles are part of our future and Jaguar is ready to embrace this. It is time for the automotive industry to move to more sustainable vehicle technology and the I-PACE puts Jaguar at the forefront of this shift. 

Jaguar has built the I-PACE to not only deliver the brand’s traditional level of performance, but it does so more efficiently.

According to a report by media outlet Autocar, Jaguar has considered converting its entire combustion-engine lineup to electric. Is this a strategy Jaguar is considering, and why?

Jaguar is aware of a story published by Autocar speculating on the future of the Jaguar product portfolio. Jaguar Land Rover does not comment on future product plans.

What we can confirm however, is that by 2020, every new Jaguar vehicle will have the option of electrification. We are developing high-tech architectures that allow our customers to have what they want and need: full electric, hybrid or ultra-clean petrol and diesel.

While electric vehicles are part of our future, the internal combustion engine is far from obsolete. 

We are constantly developing our technologies which we continue to refine and improve. All hybrid powertrains require internal combustion – diesel and/or petrol – engines – alongside electric technology.

(The electrified retrofit of the classic Jaguar Type Zero, now known as e-Type Zero. Image: Jaguar)

What’s the strategy behind electrifying classic model cars? Jaguar is refurbishing old Type Zeros into full functional EVs, renamed E-Type Zero. 

With E-type Zero, Jaguar Classic is taking the first steps to future proofing classic cars – not only incorporating zero-emissions drivetrain technology, but also updating technology features of the vehicle’s interior too. 

This isn’t an all-new Jaguar E-type. Customers who already own classic E-types can have their cars converted to an electric drive. The original engine and transmission will be preserved so that they can be put back in, if that’s ever wanted by the customer. 

For the moment our focus is to electrify six-cylinder Jaguar E-types, but we welcome enquiries from customers to gauge demand for future applications.

Which market are you planning to launch the I-PACE in regionally? UAE, Saudi, Lebanon, etc.? Is the infrastructure available to accommodate EVs in these countries?

Our first fully electric performance SUV, the Jaguar I-PACE is expected to arrive in the Middle East in the second half of 2019, with some markets receiving the vehicle before others. 

Over the last couple of years since the introduction of electric vehicles in the region, there have been several initiatives from both the private and public sectors to catch up with the international trend towards building a more sustainable future by reducing carbon emissions from vehicles.

Most countries in our region have ambitious goals for electric cars, and they have already started developing the infrastructure to back them.