Highlights of the First Annual Jaguar Land Rover Tech Fest
Jaguar Land Rover announced every one of its vehicles will feature some form of electric power by the year 2020. That wasn’t the only big news from the event, though.
This weekend, Jaguar Land Rover held its first ever Tech Fest at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London. It was full of special vehicles from the past, present, and future, as well as major announcements.
Dr Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover Chief Executive Officer, made the biggest of those announcements. He said, “Every new Jaguar Land Rover model line will be electrified from 2020, giving our customers even more choice. We will introduce a portfolio of electrified products across our model range, embracing fully electric, plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid vehicles.”
The automaker has been embracing the power of electricity more and more recently. The production version of Jaguar’s first all-electric vehicle prototype, the I-PACE concept, will arrive in dealerships next year. The fully autonomous FUTURE-TYPE, JLR’s vision of mobility in 2040 and beyond, is all-electric. JLR’s Classic division even converted a 1968 Series 1.5 Jaguar E-Type Roadster into a totally electric vehicle with a 0-62 mph time of 5.5 seconds and a range of 170 miles that it calls the E-Type Zero.
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JLR also used Tech Fest to share news about other projects, such as “Waste to Wave,” a surfboard created in with partnership SkunkWorks Surf Co. that’s made out of recycled plastic harvested from old JLR clay design models. JLR will continue to use the polyurethane skeletons of its retired clay models to produce surfboards and paddleboards.
Company engineers have fitted a Range Rover Sport with Autonomous Urban Drive technology that allows it to travel through a city, obey traffic lights, and negotiate T-junctions and roundabouts without the help of a driver. It’s a step forward in JLR’s journey toward level four autonomy, which the automaker hopes to reach within the next decade.
By 2020, JLR plans to provide solar lamps to 1.2 million people. It’s partnering with Climate Care to deliver the clean, safe, and renewable sources of light to families in Kenya. The lamps generate up to four hours of additional light every evening, allowing kids to study and families to socialize longer. They’ll cut fuel costs and cut down on the fumes generated by the kerosene lamps that are widely used in the African country today. JLR said, “By enabling villagers to work for longer at home, the lamps also foster economic independence. In time, families could be able to afford their own solar lamps, creating a virtuous circle of social and economic benefits.”