UK car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover has partnered with German-based BMW to develop new electric vehicles and technology.
The companies say they will reduce cost by sharing research and production planning for a new breed of EVs. The BBC reports they will also share the costs of buying car components.
Several EV manufacturers now share development in this way because new technology is expensive. Volkswagen is working with Ford, while rivals Fiat Chrysler and Renault are exploring a $35 billion partnership.
New generation EVs to meet 100 per cent EV target
BMW is already working on ‘Gen 5’ of its eDrive technology. This involves housing an electric motor, transmission and power electronics in one unit.
Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) will now work alongside BMW in Munich to develop the project. Both companies will then produce their own electric drivetrains, BMW says.
JLR Engineering Director Nick Rogers says it’s important to scale up new technology quickly to feed the growing EV market.
The UK aims to ban the sale of new conventional petrol and diesel cars by 2040. However, the UK Advisory Committee on Climate Change says this 100 per cent EV target should now move forward to 2030.
Why the EV sector is different to traditional car markets
EV manufacturers operate in uncharted waters. This means technological research is both costly and complex.
According to former CEO of Tata Motors Carl-Peter Forster, it’s also harder to achieve product differentiation with EV technology. That’s because they share many characteristics.
“They all accelerate fast and everybody can do quality and ride and handling,” he says. As a result car manufacturers are pooling resources to get ahead.
Last year Toyota, Honda and Nissan teamed up to research and develop solid-state battery technology. This would replace the liquid or gel-form electrolyte found in the lithium-ion batteries in today’s EVs.
New electric vehicles on the way for Australia
Back home, the re-elected Coalition government offers no direct incentives to help develop Australia’s lagging EV industry. Because of this it has been roundly criticised by the Electric Vehicle Council, along with EV manufacturers and supporters.
National EV resource My Electric Car points out that Australia spends $30 billion each year on oil imports. This would be better used creating jobs in a home-grown new EV industry, it claims.
Meanwhile, those who aspire to EV ownership should not despair. It’s still possible to buy affordable EVs, which can be charged at home using solar panels and home batteries like Tesla Powerwall 2 and Enphase.
Tesla, BMW, Renault, Jaguar, Hyundai, Nissan and Mitsubishi are all offering new electric vehicles to suit different needs and budgets.