My Dad was a mechanic at Serbu’s garage, in Windsor. And, every once in a while, he’d bring some cool car home, that he was working on.
But on this day, it was no ordinary car … he brought home a Jaguar XKE, in burgundy! I thought I had died and gone to heaven.
Even just sitting in it, and smelling the leather and everything that entailed Jaguar, fascinated me.
And that engine! Wow … I will never forget that sound. That roar. That wonderful, oh so wonderful, V-12 engine sound.
I asked Dad, can we get one? No, he said, this is only for rich people … or something like that, I don’t remember. In any case, it wasn’t to be.
Jaguars didn’t figure into the life of blue collar families from Essex county, where Ford, GM and Chrysler factories ruled.
So it was with some surprise, and, well, shock … that I learned that Jaguar would be all electric by 2025.
Yes, this is no joke.
According to a report from BBC News, the venerable firm known for some of the greatest sports cars of all time, will launch electric models of its entire Jaguar and Land Rover line-up by 2030, it added.
It would keep all three of its three British plants open as part of its new strategy, but it has dropped plans to build an electric version of its XJ saloon at the Castle Bromwich plant, meaning the site will eventually stop making cars.
Chief executive Thierry Bolloré said the plant would focus instead on “non-production” activities in the long term, without giving details, BBC reported.
The company plans to spend about £2.5bn a year on new technology for its cars.
This is a big move for Jaguar Land Rover, but according to experts (which we all hate), the reality is it has little choice.
Like other manufacturers, it is under pressure to reduce the CO2 emissions from its fleet, as new regulations come into force in Europe and elsewhere, BBC reported.
At the same time, sales of diesels — which generally produce less CO2 than petrol engines — have been plummeting.
And in the longer term, the UK government wants to outlaw the sale of all wholly petrol and diesel cars from 2030. Governments in other countries are moving in the same general direction.
The problem is, electric cars cost more to design and build than conventional models, meaning it is currently hard to make a profit from them, BBC reported. Bigger manufacturers can throw money at the problem now, and hope to benefit from economies of scale later.
JLR is a smaller company and can’t do that — so instead it will re-emphasize Jaguar’s credentials as a luxury brand when it goes all-electric.
It will also invest in hydrogen fuel cell technology. Fuel cells provide electric power, without producing tailpipe emissions — water is the only by-product, so they say.
Nobody seems to mention the awful environmental consequences of building hydrogen fuel cells, and, disposing of them.
In order for them to be truly environmentally friendly — and keep glum Greta Thunberg happy — we are told, the hydrogen itself needs to be produced using renewable sources, BBC reported.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the announcement was “a huge step for British car manufacturing.”
A huge step, into what? Something you can’t scrape off your shoe? Oh, right … it’s all about being green, isn’t it.
Carmakers are under pressure to meet stringent carbon emission demands in Europe and China, as well as customer demand for high-performance electric cars with a luxury or performance feel.
The UK plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030, BBC reported.
Luxury car brand Bentley Motors, owned by Germany’s Volkswagen, said in November its range will be fully electric by 2030, and last month General Motors said it aimed to have a zero tailpipe emission line-up by 2035.
Somehow, I can’t get excited about an electric Jaguar.
To quote Charlton Heston, “From my cold, dead hands,” will they take my keys to my gas-powered car.