A very interesting interview with Jaguar Land Rover CEO Ralf Speth was recently delivered by Automotive News.
Besides the part about company expansion, new production facilities around the world and financial results, there were a few important questions about electric cars in the context of EVs announced by companies like Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Porsche.
Jaguar Land Rover hasn't introduce any production electric cars yet, although they have some under development in non-production research projects.
Ralf Speth said that JLR will not join other companies - "at the moment" - because of the insufficient state of battery technology. He noted that JLR will introduce EVs in the future when batteries improve.
"We are still far from an ideal ratio of energy density and weight of the batteries -- not to mention their cost."
Moreover, asked about the long range of over 300 miles promised by Audi, Speth said:
"The range is not the core issue. You can achieve any range you want with electric vehicles. It's only a question of how many battery stacks you will have and how many kilograms you will carry around. A 2.4-ton sedan is not an environmentally friendly vehicle.
The issue is that the output of the battery has to become better."
We see there a clear reference to the Tesla Model S, which in JLR CEO's eyes isn't helping the environment.
Ralf Speth expects higher power and energy density before he would switch the company to electric drive and he seems not encouraged by weekly battery breakthroughs reported on the Internet:
"We have targets in kilowatt power, in density and in weight, and we need breakthrough technologies to get there. What we hear from experts is that these will take a little bit longer than everyone expects."
Source: Automotive News