Jaguar mulls becoming EV-only brand, report says

Could Jaguar become an EV-only brand? That's the strategy under consideration by company leadership, according to Autocar, one that could see the longtime British luxury brand phase out all of its conventional vehicles over the next five to seven years, replacing them with battery-electric vehicles.

Such a move may seem drastic at first, but it contemplates a different luxury car universe five years from now, one in which EVs make up a large portion of all luxury vehicles on sale. By that time, the XF and the XE sedans will have reached the end of their product cycles, while a new I-Pace will arrive in 2025. By this time, the F-Pace and E-Pace models will be gone. This would allow Jaguar to field almost nothing but EV models by 2026, with the J-Pace luxury crossover being the only holdout until 2027.

Autocar notes that internal estimates suggest that Jaguar could sell as many as 300,000 units per year with a four- or five-vehicle lineup, in approximately the same segments occupied by the current lineup minus a couple of vehicles. Under this strategy, Castle Bromwich could be retooled as an EV factory, while the Coventry Hyperbat factory could produce the batteries needed for the new all-wheel-drive MLA EV platform.

The enthusiastic reception for the I-Pace is cited by Autocar as being one of the supporting forces behind this electrification strategy, in addition to the slowly materializing expectation that Jaguar sedans may not have a profitable future as they exist today: The F-Pace is the company's best-selling model, with the E-Pace trailing not far behind. Replacements for the XE, XF and XJ are not too far over the horizon, making this particular moment in time a pivotal one for the automaker. Autocar argues that the current crop of sedans is difficult to justify replacing with gasoline-engined models — this requires too much investment at a time when demand for sedans is fading — while a crossover-only lineup would not offer enough variety for current dealers.

The answer, therefore, may lie in turning the Jaguar lineup into an electric one with the next generation of current nameplates, plus dropping a couple of models here and there.

Autocar notes that this EV-only plan has not been greenlit just yet, but that many within the company believe that it would be a win-win, giving Jaguar a chance to re-establish itself as a self-supporting marque amid an industry rush into EVs. Sister brand Land Rover is expected to keep gasoline engines for some time, crucial to its go-anywhere versatility, as well as its brand image.

We should note that a battery-electric XJ is already in the works — there is no plan for a gasoline-engined next-generation flagship.

The early success of the I-Pace has certainly given Jaguar the confidence it needs to carry through with such a transformation, at a time when multiple German automakers are fielding their first electric models.

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