Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) will join Honda in paying Tesla for carbon emissions credits in both Europe and the UK, it has been revealed just hours after the carmaker unveiled its first all-electric Range Rover that it plans to launch in 2024.
The iconic British marque announced in February its intention to produce an all-electric version of each of its vehicles by 2025, but in the shorter term it is struggling to meet stringent car emissions limits imposed in European and UK markets.
There were few details or specifications announced with the unveiling of the new electric Range Rover, other than it will be based on JLR’s fifth-generation luxury SUV and loaded with technology, using a dedicated architecture that supports over-the-air software updates and which will be the foundation of the brand’s future electric models.
It will first offer petrol and plug in hybrid options of the new Range Rover, which will start from around $220,000 in Australia.
Meanwhile, new documents uncovered by Europe’s Schmidt Automotive Analysis show that JLR, which has sold around 65,000 vehicles in each region to date in 2021 (38,000 for the UK and 43,000 for Europe so far in this financial year), intends to join Tesla’s carbon pool for the 2021 financial year.
Tesla’s bottom line has been boosted to the tune of $US1.5 billion ($A2bn) in 2020 and $US1.15 billion ($A1.53bn) to date in Q3 2021 thanks to the credits, although it lost Fiat Chrysler as a pool customer after the European car group merged with Peugeot group PSA to form Stellantis.
As Schmidt notes, Jaguar Land Rover is classed in Europe as a niche carmaker, which means it is only required to bring its fleet average CO2 emissions below 131.8gm/km, instead of the standard 95gm/km of broad segment carmakers.
But as with other makers of “luxo-barges” in Europe, Jaguar Land Rover is opting to eek a profit out of larger models – a plan will require less chips for optimum profits.
This also means it is more likely to exceed its legislated carbon limits, which would result in a repeat of 2020 when it paid 35 million pounds ($A64m) in fines for breaching the limit.
And although the UK is no longer part of the EU it has retained similar emissions limits, the annexing of the UK’s limits means that carmakers can no longer offset the generally higher fleet emissions from the UK (which like Australia has a love affair with large SUVs) against countries where their fleets are made up of smaller cars with lower emissions.
Another document uncovered by Schmidt shows that JLR will also join Tesla’s pool in the UK. According to Schmidt, the update was published only a few hours after the British carmaker unveiled its first full electric vehicle.
The carmaker announced intentions to make an all-electric jaguar XJ in 2019 but later scrapped the plan as it announced its 2025 strategy.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.