Jaguar Land Rover Wants to Build EVs in the UK: Gov’t to Fund EV, Autonomous Vehicle Development

Following the introduction of the I-Pace battery electric concept SUV (above photo) at the Los Angeles Auto Show two weeks ago, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) said it wants to build electric vehicles in the UK

The British carmaker’s CEO Ralf Speth told a business group that the Tata Motors-owned automaker, which operates three car plants in central and northern England, that he wants to produce electric vehicles in Great Britain.

“We want to build our EVs in the West Midlands, in the home of our design and engineering,” Speth said last week.

JLR has told the British government that it could create 10,000 jobs in its home region but it would require large improvements in local infrastructure, including an extra 12 to 15 gigawatts of electricity per year, extra land for development and “the right legislative framework,” the Financial Times reported.

SEE ALSO: Jaguar Debuts Cool-Looking I-Pace Electric Crossover Concept

Speth said his ambition was to double JLR’s production to around one million vehicles by the end of the decade.

In the same time frame, JLR has also said that it wants at least half of its vehicles to be made available with the option of some form of electrification.

Speth’s announcement came two days after the British government laid out its plans to make the UK a global leader for electric vehicle and battery production.

UK finance minister Philip Hammond on last Wednesday announced $484 million of funding to boost the development of electric and autonomous vehicles, as well as support for EV infrastructure.

SEE ALSO: Jaguar Land Rover to Begin Testing Connected and Autonomous Cars

“Reliable transport networks are essential to growth and productivity,” Hammond said, adding that the funding would “build on our competitive advantage in low-emission vehicles and the development of connected autonomous vehicles.”

The government is encouraging automakers and tech firms to develop and test autonomous driving technology in the UK, aiming to build an industry to serve a worldwide market it says will be worth about $1.1 trillion by 2025.

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