The Jaguar I-Pace electric car will soon be upgraded with an extra 20km driving range thanks to technical knowledge gleaned from the I-Pace eTrophy which runs in conjunction with the ABB Formula E racing championship.
Jaguar says the update – slated to be released to I-Pace electric SUV owners via a software upgrade just before Christmas – improves battery performance and will also include a number of other enhancements including adding the ability for future upgrades to be installed “over-the-air”.
According to Jaguar, the increased range is thanks to an improvement that will allow the I-Pace to access more of its 90kWh battery current capacity, “without affecting drive-ability, durability or performance”.
It’s a great example that highlights a motivation behind introducing electric racing series such as the eTrophy, which first began as a support race to the ABB Formula E in 2016 and attracts entrants from as far afield as Brazil, China, Australia/New Zealand and the UK.
While they focus on competing, Jaguar collects data from each entrant in each race to collate and learn more about how to improve the I-Pace.
“The Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY has generated a huge amount of data for us to analyse and those marginal gains, derived from competition on the track, are now being applied to customers’ cars to further enhance their driving experience,” said I-Pace vehicle engineering manager Stephen Boulter in a statement.
Typically, EV makers restrict how much of a given EV battery’s capacity can be accessed to reduce stress on the battery and ensure its State of Health (SoH).
The new upgrade will allow I-Pace drivers to access an additional 8% of the battery capacity depending on how they drive, although Jaguar notes that official driving range rating of 470km based on the European WLTP cycle will not change.
In addition to the range increase, the eTrophy data-based upgrade will also improve torque distribution to the front and rear motors to deliver more efficient on Eco mode.
Better aerodynamics are also achieved by a tweak of the thermal management controls which will allow vanes in the active radiator system to be close more often.
Other refinements are also being added derived from real-world driving data, including better regenerative braking and more accurate range calculation (for which the I-Pace has been the subject of criticism).
“The new software updates optimise the powertrain control systems to improve efficiency and allow I-PACE drivers to travel even further on a single charge without any hardware changes – it really is a case of the vehicle getting better with age,” says Boulter.
Customers can contact their local Jaguar dealerships to arrange installation of the complimentary software upgrade.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.