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Halewood plant to build three or four EVs atop EMA platform, beginning with Mark 2 Velar in 2025.
The next-generation Range Rover Evoque, Range Rover Velar and Land Rover Discovery Sport models will be exclusively offered as electric cars.
JLR (as Jaguar Land Rover is now known from today) has confirmed its Halewood, Merseyside plant will switch to making exclusively electric models from 2025, and will build each of those three cars.
The cars will be built on a new architecture called EMA (Electric Modular Architecture). This had previously been planned to be hybrid as well as electric but will now be electric-only.
New JLR CEO Adrian Mardell said this was in response to the way the market had shifted so dramatically towards electric that it made sense for the brand’s future mid-size SUV models to do the same.
Mardell confirmed that “three vehicles, maybe four” would be built on EMA, which includes the next Evoque and Discovery Sport. The first model to come from Halewood will be “from the Range Rover family”, according to a JLR statement, and it is understood that model is set not to be the Evoque but the Velar, which will switch to EMA and the Halewood plant for its second generation.
The identity of the fourth model is not yet known, but it opens up the tantalising possibility of a smaller electric Defender, as well as an additional model in the Discovery range.
The new models would use batteries sourced in the longer term from a new European Tata gigafactory, but until then they would be from an external supply contract JLR has already secured.
It was reported last year that JLR had taken the first steps to convert Halewood to build electric vehicles, securing the factory’s future as the company begins rolling out low- and zero-emission vehicles.
As of September, the company had begun the tendering process to upgrade the factory to build cars on the new ‘native BEV’ Electrified Modular Architecture (EMA), a source close to the process stated.
JLR has previously confirmed the platform for the Halewood plant, one of its three vehicle assembly facilities in the UK. However, the latest development will come as good news for the facility’s 3700 employees in a period of high uncertainty.
The extended shutdown period to convert the plant will happen in 2024, the source confirmed. JLR has said cars on its EMA platform will arrive in the same year.
Halewood’s confirmed role in building electric cars will ensure its future is secure well into the medium term. The factory was opened in 1963 by Ford, which retains part of the site for building gearboxes and will invest £380 million repurposing it as an electric drivetrain factory by 2024.
Last summer, JLR also submitted planning requests to extend Halewood’s body shop “to increase its production capacity for new model lines”, according to documents lodged with the local Knowsley council. The new two-storey building would expand the additional body shop, where the car’s metal bodies are joined together, by around 32,000 square metres.
JLR is putting the new EMA platform through its engineering approval process, Mardell told investors during a conference call in July 2022, when he was JLR’s chief financial officer.
By 2030, Jaguar Land Rover is aiming for 60% of its global sales to be fully electric, with 10% plug-in hybrid and 30% to be mild or standard hybrid. It is aiming for all global sales to be zero-emission vehicles by 2036, it has said.
Meanwhile in other news, UK sales jump 18% in March as Electric Vehicle demand reaches new record.
Registrations rose as supply problems eased, making the last quarter the strongest since 2019.
New-car registrations in the UK rose for the eighth consecutive month in March, recording 18 percent growth from a year earlier, and also marked the best month ever for full-electric car sales, the UK’s auto industry body, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), said.
New-car registrations jumped to 287,825 units as supply chain challenges continued to ease, making the first quarter of 2023 the strongest three-month period since 2019, the SMMT said in a statement on Wednesday.
Sales of full-electric cars rose 19 percent to a record monthly high of 46,626, representing a market share of 16.2 percent, while gasoline-powered vehicles remained the most popular fuel type, rising 17 percent to a 41.4 percent share. Diesel sales fell 20 percent for a 3.8 percent market share.
“The best month ever for zero-emission vehicles is reflective of increased consumer choice and improved availability but if Electric Vehicle market ambitions and regulation are to be met, infrastructure investment must catch up,” SMMT CEO Mike Hawes said in the statement.
An Electric Vehicle, the Tesla Model Y, was the best selling car in the UK last month, followed by the Nissan Juke and the Nissan Qashqai. The Tesla Model Y was also Europe’s best-selling new passenger car in March, according to Jato Dynamics.
Analysing sales across 27 markets in Europe, it was also the best-selling car in Q1 2023.
It is the first time that the model has topped the year-to-date ranking and is in stark contrast to Q1 last year, when the Model Y was ranked 31st.
Felipe Munoz, global analyst at Jato Dynamics, said: “Increase in production alongside fewer supply chain issues enabled Tesla to finally deliver vehicles to its customers at pace.
“The Model Y will likely be among the five best-selling products in Europe at the end of this year.”
However, the success of the Model Y came at the expense of the Model 3, which saw fewer registrations – down by 42% in March, and 40% during Q1 2023.
Munoz added: “Given the popularity of SUVs, it is perhaps unsurprising that the Model Y has risen in demand, in comparison to its sedan peer.”
In March, Jato reports that the number of European new car registrations increased by 26% to 1,414,815 units, and by 17% in Q1 to 3,220,806 units – the highest it has been since 2019.
Munoz said: “The increase in registrations is largely explained by accumulated orders from months previous that could not be delivered due to the lack of components at the time.
“We’ll be watching closely to see how this growth is impacted by further inflationary pressure in the coming months.”
Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) were a strong driver of this growth. More than half of registrations in Q1 were BEVs, with volume increasing by 43% in March to over 219,000 units.
More models, lower prices, and appealing incentive packages across all markets has contributed to this positive rise in demand, says Jato.
The market share of BEVs totalled 13.4% for Q1 – the highest ever for the first quarter in Europe.
Tesla’s volume totalled 28% of all BEV registrations in March, and 22% for Q1.
“Tesla is showing stronger results this year than seen in 2022, despite the record set last year,” continued Munoz. “However, the speed of growth would have been even faster had it not been for the triumph of the Model Y and the subsequent lack of registrations of the Model 3.”
The Volkswagen Group came only 2,400 units behind Tesla in the Q1 ranking, with its total BEV volume up by 57%.
Even during the reigning period for Tesla, Volkswagen’s rise equalled Tesla’s. With Volkswagen performing better in March, registrations grew by 75% in comparison to Tesla’s 44%.
Geely Group, SAIC Group, and Toyota also produced good results in the BEV market during Q1.
SAIC Group (MG and Maxus) enjoyed positive results. With the popularity of the recently introduced MG 4, the Chinese manufacturer continued to climb the rankings.
In March 2023, the MG brand made the top 10 BEV ranking of OEMs – ahead of Nissan, Toyota, and Ford.
The MG 4 achieved fourth place in the top 10 BEV ranking for March.
MG is a prime example of how Chinese OEMs can thrive in the Western market, using a reputable Western brand and selling a competitive product.
Toyota, still marginal in terms of BEV volume, registered more than 3,700 units of the bZ4X. This saw the manufacturer’s overall BEV volume grow by 437% during the quarter.
Remarkably, Toyota outsold Ford in Q1. Nevertheless, its figures lagged behind the large volumes posted by the majority of its European counterparts and Hyundai-Kia.
The SMMT said increased investment in public charging infrastructure is key for the success of the Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate, which is due to be enforced in less than nine months.
John Wilmot, CEO of car leasing comparison website LeaseLoco, said in a note that it would be foolhardy to declare the car industry is out of the woods just yet, as current reported numbers were still well below pre-COVID levels.
Through March, UK sales rose 18 percent to 494,260.
And finally, Samsara launches ‘sustainable’ fleet management system.
Samsara has introduced a sustainable fleet management solution, which is designed to empower customers with additional data-driven insights so they can reduce emissions, electrify vehicles and meet sustainability goals.
The complex transition away from fossil fuels, says Samsara, will require long-term planning, foresight, and data-driven decisions, particularly when every organisation will have its own unique challenges depending on its size and business objectives.
Tim Campbell, managing director and commercial vehicle decarbonisation consultant at Campbells Consultancy, said: “Electric vehicles have the potential to significantly reduce environmental impact knowing that transportation is a leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions across the globe.
“With the right technology infrastructure, it is possible in various operations to do this without compromising your supply chain.
“Commercial fleet electrification has yet to reach an inflection point but with increased regulatory incentives and reporting requirements, preparedness for this operational shift remains critical.”
Samsara’s sustainable fleet management solution is designed to support customers along every step of their journey toward more sustainable operations.
New and enhanced features announced today include:
Fuel and Energy Hub, acting as the one-stop shop for mixed fuel fleets – including internal combustion engine, Electric Vehicle, and hybrid vehicles – to ensure their drivers and assets perform optimally to support sustainability goals. With this new dashboard, operations leaders can visualise an entire fleet’s performance while gathering actionable insights into fuel economy, cost, and consumption to direct change with confidence and precision. Fuel and Energy Hub is now available in open beta.
Sustainability Report, allowing customers to visualise their fleet emissions and monitor output across sites and vehicles to pinpoint improvement areas. This report also provides insight into current and predicted fleet emissions over time, so customers can set more accurate targets and track progress against their sustainability goals. Sustainability Report is now available in open beta.
Charge Control, combatting driver range anxiety by managing real-time Electric Vehicle charging at scale and easily identifying charging issues. Now, customers can create custom charging profiles by groups or by individual vehicles and receive notifications for irregularities. Charge Control will be available in open beta this summer.
Electric Vehicle Suitability Report, providing customers with a tailored list of Internal Combustion Engine vehicles within their fleet that are most suitable for Electric Vehicle transition. As an evolution of Samsara’s existing Fleet Electrification Report, this new report now includes assessment for all vehicle types and allows customers to configure electrification criteria for advanced recommendations. Electric Vehicle Suitability Report is now generally available.
Samsara customers can now leverage these features alongside the platform’s existing Fuel and Energy Report, Driver Efficiency Report, Idling Events Report and Fleet Benchmarks Report.
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