With industry giants like Audi and BMW vowing to challenge Tesla Motors’ reign as the preeminent manufacturer of pure-electric vehicles globally, who doesn’t seem keen to enter the growing market?
Well, Jaguar Land Rover, for one. Automotive News reports that at the site’s annual Europe Congress, Jaguar Land Rover CEO Dr. Ralf Speth remarked that the automaker is none too eager to produce a commercially-available EV until battery technology takes a few meaningful strides forward.
Dr. Speth told a room of industry insiders: “Customers are not impressed with [battery technology] currently,” no pun intended. After his keynote speech, he elaborated to Automotive News Europe, explaining that “battery technology today is still too heavy, too expensive, and the [power] density is too low. As we learned at school, there’s this correlation between mass and energy, and as long as this is not favorable, even if you recuperate, this is an issue.”
Of course, that’s not to say that Jaguar Land Rover has zero interest in entering the EV market – eventually. Dr. Speth told the AN Europe Congress that lowering vehicle emissions is a priority, and that automakers risked losing the interest of younger generations of buyers if they didn’t address that concern.
So what will it take for Jaguar Land Rover to toss its hat into the proverbial EV ring? Nothing short of a generational improvement in battery technology, which Dr. Speth expects to come about in the midterm. “The next generation of batteries will be higher [power] density, lower weight, and the cost will come down,” said Dr. Speth.