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Jaguar Land Rover commits to electric cars, renewables, recycling and surfing

Last week Jaguar Land Rover announced that from 2020 it will focus only on fully electric or hybrid cars. Chief executive Ralph Speth said “We will introduce a portfolio of electrified products across our model range, embracing fully electric, plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid vehicles. Our first fully electric performance SUV, the Jaguar I-PACE, goes on sale next year.”


The Guardian reported that average CO2 emissions from Jaguar Land Rover cars were 164g / Km in 2015 compared to a UK average of 121.4g / Km and suggested that their primary motivation is to meet European emissions targets of 95g / Km by 2021.


Last year the World Energy Council published a report that said the market share of electric cars would need to rise to 16% globally by 2020 in order for manufacturers to meet fuel economy standards. The Standards, which remained flat for two decades, now require continuous improvement of 5.7% annually. Current improvement rates of 2.8% per annum in the EU would fall short of the target and result in fines of up to €30bn. It is hardly surprising that car manufacturers like Jaguar Land Rover and Volvo have made similar pledges to electric cars.


Commitment to renewables

The standards regulate tailpipe emissions but of course this represents just one segment of the overall environmental footprint of a vehicle; the electricity supply for charging must be from renewables if the vehicle is to operate with zero emissions. This could come from large and small generators across the UK and combined with new battery technologies, households may be able to benefit from flexible rates using vehicle-to-grid systems. It may all sound quite futuristic but with over 1.5 million households already benefitting from solar energy, a planned national rollout of smart meters by 2020 and Ofgem currently considering the introduction of mandatory smart tariffs for homes and businesses, we could easily see these developments emerging in the next few years.


Jaguar Land Rover has been a long-term investor in solar and renewable energy. In 2013, GMI Energy installed a 50kWp system on their new logistics facility in Solihull and later JLR decided to install a whopping 5.8MW system in Staffordshire, which was hailed as the UK’s largest rooftop array in 2014. In March of this year, JLR agreed to purchase 100% of its electricity from renewable sources and JLR’s 2015 sustainability plan announced £36m of funding to spend over three years on renewable energy, energy efficiency and process improvements.


Commitment to waste and recycling

On waste and recycling, JLR launched a REALITY programme last week, which builds on their existing REALCAR project that enables the collection and recovery of more than 75,000 tonnes of aluminium for reuse in manufacturing. Edie reports that Jaguar Land Rover has invested more than £13m in implementing a closed loop aluminium system and the new £2m REALITY project will increase the recovery and improve energy savings because recycling aluminium requires 95% less energy than traditional production.


JLR also announced a new Waste to Wave initiative that will see Polyurethane used in the creation of early design studio models will now be turned into surfboards and paddleboards. “With an estimated 8 million tonnes of plastic dumped in oceans every year, taking hundreds of years to decompose, Jaguar Land Rover has strengthened its commitment to achieving its zero waste goal by creating a range of surfboards made wholly from recycled plastic.”

Image source: jaguarlandrover.com

GMI Energy

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