Brian Joss – Jaguar has introduced South Africa to the future of motoring with the first electric vehicle (EV) launched together with a rapid public charging network to enable long distance travel between city centres.
With a range of up to 470km from a single charge, the new Jaguar I-PACE offers a viable emissions-free solution to drivers who commute regularly but also enjoy longer journeys which until now have been outside the reach of EV travel.
A state-of-the-art 90kWh Lithium-ion battery using 432 pouch cells can be topped-up with a range of flexible charging types including 7.4kW wall box units installed in homes as well as public chargers along the Jaguar Powerway – a network of rapid chargers placed at various points of convenience such as shopping centres nationwide, along common inter-city routes and at every Jaguar Land Rover dealership in South Africa.
Brian Hastie, Electrification Team Leader, Jaguar Land Rover South Africa and sub-Sahara Africa, said: “For most I-PACE owners home charging means waking up to the equivalent of a full tank of fuel every day. Beyond this overnight charging habit, the Jaguar Powerway supports charging for long trips. We are already at the point where an electric car can be your everyday car.”
Every I-PACE comes standard with a universal “occasional use” charging cable compatible with regular household sockets. This method will achieve a 0-100% charge in around 24 hours. Optional 7.4kW wall box home charger installations priced from R25 000 will achieve the same result in around 12 hours, ideal for overnight charging.
Rapid public charging times will depend on respective charger capacities, but the most prevalent (in South Africa) 60kW types will charge an I-PACE from 0-80% in a maximum 72 minutes and add 100km range in 20 minutes. The I-PACE is capable of accepting a charge capacity up to 100kW, which would enable 0-80% charges in under 40 minutes.
It’s important to note that charging habits will differ greatly to refilling conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, meaning refilling should happen whenever possible, such as every night at home. Refilling ICE vehicles generally happens as fuel tanks approach low levels, while recharging EVs from low or 0% states of charge will be infrequent.
A suite of smart range-optimising technologies includes a battery pre-conditioning system: when plugged in the I-PACE will automatically raise (or lower) the temperature of its battery to maximise range ahead of driving away.
Two Jaguar-designed electric motors – which feature driveshafts passing through the motors themselves for compactness – are placed at each axle, producing exceptional combined performance of 294kW and 696Nm, and all-wheel-drive, all-surface traction.
The high torque density and high-energy efficiency characteristics of the motors deliver sports car performance, launching the I-PACE from a standing start to 100km/h in just 4.8 seconds. The instantaneous performance is matched with exceptional ride comfort and engaging driving dynamics.
The bespoke EV aluminium architecture uses advanced riveting and bonding technology to deliver a light, stiff body structure. Together with the structural battery pack, it has a torsional rigidity of 36kNm/degree – the highest of any Jaguar.
The battery is placed centrally between the two axles, and as low down as possible with a seal between the housing and the underfloor. This location enables perfect 50:50 weight distribution and a low centre of gravity:
together with the advanced double wishbone front and Integral Link rear axle with (optional) air suspension and configurable Adaptive Dynamics, this delivers agile handling and outstanding ride comfort.
There will be nothing else on South African roads that look or drive like the Jaguar I-PACE. It is designed and engineered to take full advantage of its smart electric powertrain and maximise the potential of the packaging benefits it brings.
Its sleek, coupe-like silhouette is influenced by the Jaguar C-X75 supercar with a short, low bonnet, aero-enhanced roof design and curved rear screen.
This cab-forward design contrasts with its squared-off rear, which helps reduce the drag co-efficient to just 0.29Cd. To optimise the balance between cooling and aerodynamics, Active Vanes in the grille open when cooling is required, but close when not needed to redirect air through the integral bonnet scoop, smoothing airflow.
Inside, the layout optimises space for passengers while sophisticated materials – including the option of a premium Windsor leather interior – and exquisite attention to detail identify this as a true Jaguar.
While a mid-sized SUV, I-PACE’s cab forward design and EV powertrain means interior space comparable to large SUVs. In the rear, legroom is 890mm while, with no transmission tunnel, there’s a useful 10.5-litre central storage compartment. In the rear, tablet and laptop stowage is found beneath the seats, while the rear luggage compartment offers a 656-litre capacity – and 1,453-litres with seats folded flat.
I-PACE introduces the Touch Pro Duo infotainment system to Jaguar. Utilising an innovative combination of touchscreens, capacitive sensors and tactile physical controls, Touch Pro Duo is intuitive to use.
To ensure owners always have access to the latest infotainment, telematics and battery energy control software, I-PACE will be the first Jaguar to provide software over-the-air – providing seamless updates.
As a responsible business Jaguar Land Rover is committed to delivering a cleaner future and has plans to prolong the life of its batteries from its electric vehicle with new recycling partnerships and second life energy storage trials.
The I-PACE is available in S, SE and HSE derivatives alongside a First Edition, all inspired by the design of the original concept.
CAPTION: First for Jaguar: the Jaguar I-PACE. Picture: Motorpress