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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Range Rover EV Could Compete with Tesla


range rover hybrid photos

Since its inception, Range Rover has been known for two things: tough off-road capability and uncompromising on-road luxury. It’s not a simple feat to make a large 4×4 ride like an executive saloon, though Jaguar Land Rover has done it.But now JLR is potentially adding another ingredient to that recipe, full electrification, in order to go toe-to-toe with Tesla in the luxury EV segment. Will it work?

range rover sport svr images

According to Land Rover engineering director Wolfgang Ziebart in a recent Autocar article, quite simply – yes, it would.
Ziebart suggested that the electric vehicle market is firmly split between city cars, such as the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i-MiEV, and a “second or third car for a wealthy family,” such as the Tesla Model S or Cadillac ELR … with the Tesla being the crowd favorite here. Ziebart proposed that the latter of the two segments could have a future for a Jaguar Land Rover EV around the same size as a Jaguar XJ with sights set on the US and Chinese markets.

range rover evoque photos

Autocar also cites Land Rover design chief Gerry McGovern who hinted that Range Rover has plans to expand into an “incredibly luxurious, low slung” product range, which might offer a better candidate for new EV powertrains than the current four-wheel-drive Range Rover Sport.

The target for a future electric Rangie would unquestionably be the upcoming Tesla Model X, which adopts the impressive EV technology of the Model S sedan to deliver comparable range (expected at or below 265 miles), performance, and even electric all-wheel-drive.

Tesla model x 2015 photos

But the biggest barrier to widespread adoption of a Range Rover EV or any other electric SUV for that matter might be Tesla’s own Supercharger system, which links Tesla drivers on both sides of the continental US, as well as parts of Europe and Asia. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has claimed that the system will eventually open to other EV makes and models, so long as the manufacturers share the costs of the infrastructure. Until then, Tesla will offer the greatest mobility for long haul EV trips.