Jaguar I-PACE Concept - Photon Red
Let's hope Jaguar backs the charging infrastructure in an even bigger way soon.
The Jaguar I-Pace concept is a thing of beauty, and when the sheet drops from the production version at the Geneva Motor Show in a few days, we expect we'll be able to say the same of that. But, while it may be a highly anticipated all-electric that slots into the very hot crossover segment, it may be a hard sell for some because, unlike Tesla, Jaguar Land Rover doesn't have a dedicated charging network.
That doesn't mean no one will buy it, or, if they do, have no place to charge. People can charge at home, of course, and take advantage of sundry public and private charging networks in most regions where it will be offered. It just won't, unlike its American competitor, be able to map out a route that takes Supercharging opportunities into account.
JLR is cognisant of that fact, though, and will be spending money in places where the existing charging infrastructure is lacking. Downunder, for instance.
There, according to JLR Australia managing director Matthew Wiesner, the automaker will spend millions on charging stations at dealerships and ahead of the I-Pace's appearance in showrooms there this Fall, in some places beyond that. This, despite his insistence that,
"It’s not the role of car companies to build petrol stations, and while it is not the role of governments to spend public money on subsidising the industry, they need to create a framework for its growth.
We need the right framework to supercharge the infrastructure and allow people to make a decision on the uptake of electric vehicles."
So, while the British marque may be willing to produce electric vehicles — even compelling ones — it doesn't see charging networks are falling into its purview. While it's far too early to say whether not building its own high-speed DC fast-charging network, or teaming with Tesla on its Supercharger, was the right choice, there's no doubt it will affect the buying decision of potential customers.
Jaguar is not alone in this regard. Pretty much every manufacturer so far seems fine with leaving infrastructure to governments and 3rd-party outfits. While that should be fine while their production rates are relatively low, it may become an issue down the road, unless there is a drastic change in the technology which drops charge times beneath the 15-minute mark, and high-speed chargers become a competitive business proposition for current gas station owners.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald