The iconic British car brand Jaguar became the latest automaker to reveal a plan to phase out fossil-fuel engines, announcing its intention to go fully electric by 2025.
Jaguar Land Rover, which is owned by Indian conglomerate Tata Motors, hopes the move will help repair the fortunes of the struggling 86-year-old Jaguar brand. JLR said that the far more profitable Land Rover brand will also electrify eventually, and will produce its first pure EV in 2024.
The transition to EVs will mean moving car production from JLR’s Castle Bromwich factory near Birmingham to nearby Solihull. Chief Executive Thierry Bolloré said the company is “exploring opportunities to repurpose” the Castle Bromwich facility—some speculate that it could become a battery plant.
British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps hailed the move, calling it “a huge step for British car manufacturing.”
Industry lobbying group The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders also praised what it called “an injection of confidence” into the automotive sector. “[JLR’s] roadmap to a future that is built around sustainability, with electrified and hydrogen models as well as investment in connected and digital technologies, aligns with government ambition and increasing consumer expectations,” said SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes. However, he added that support from the UK government would be needed to meet global competition in the EV industry. “Government must ensure advanced manufacturing has its full support, with a policy framework and plan for growth that reduces costs, accelerates domestic battery production and electrified supply chains, and incentivises R&D and skills development.”