Is it true that Tesla has pretty much been running things when it comes to the electric car industry? Well, while rival manufacturers are seeing some healthy sales in the hybrid departments, no-one else is really touching Tesla when it comes to critically-adored, all-electric vehicles that have a luxurious edge to them. But people are obviously seeing a lot of dollar signs in the future of this market, and so we’re going to be seeing a lot of competitors coming out of the woodwork in the next two or three years.
When it comes to models that will potentially pose some serious competition to Tesla, there’s no doubt that one of the biggest names on people’s lips right now is Jaguar. More information has been emerging as of late about their all-electric luxury ride, the I-Pace. Jaguar’s mission is to ensure all their vehicles are immediately identifiable as Jaguars, and there’s no question that the I-Pace – judging by the concept vehicle that we’ve seen in recent motor shows and photos – checks that particular box.
But how well is the I-Pace going to do against Tesla? Specifically, the Tesla car that everyone seems to be measuring against these days is the Tesla Model X SUV. Anyone with experience with the Model X – even if it simply takes the form of reading articles about it or looking at photos of it – knows that it sets a very high standard by pretty much every criterion you can think of.
So let’s take a look at the I-Pace and see if we can get away with a little prognostication!
There’s a lot more information available at the official page over at the official Jaguar website or here. But to summarize the essential details, we’re definitely looking at something supremely impressive. It will be all-wheel drive and feature sports car acceleration capabilities – they’re promising 60mph is around four seconds. It combines two electric motors to produce approximately 400 horsepower. The dimensions will be fairly typical of an SUV, with five seats, 1.2 cubic feet of front luggage compartment space, and a rear cargo area of approximately 18 cubic feet.
Battery-wise, things are definitely looking good: the 90 kWh lithium-ion battery can get at 80% charge in just an hour and a half (although this will require a 50kW “rapid charger”, and who knows how much that’s going to cost?). The estimated range has been listed at around 220 miles by the EPA, who have already been running tests on the thing. This doesn’t quite match up to the high-end Teslas, but it’s worth remembering that the EPA had their hands on a concept; the production version may be more powerful in this department.
Jaguar are just one of several manufacturers introducing all-electric cars to their lineup in 2017 and 2017-18. There’s a fairly comprehensive list over at http://www.theweek.co.uk/electric-cars/69705/best-electric-cars-2017-nissan-tesla-model-x-and-more. Many will also be stepping up their game on new versions of current models; new versions of the Volkswagen e-Up and the Nissan Leaf are promising to be big names in the coming years.
Of course, we also have to consider the competition from Tesla itself. While the Model X seems to be used as the standard by which all other electric cars are to be judged, we also have to consider the Tesla Model 3, which you can read more about over at the Tesla website. Tesla have been taking reservations on this thing for just over a year; judging by its quarterly finance reports, it looks like closer to half a million people have reserved as Tesla Model 3. This is actually a bigger backlog than even Elon Musk expected; many of the newer orders may not see the reservers getting their hands on their vehicle until 2019! This is certainly going to be taken into consideration for people who are simply looking to get a luxury electric vehicle.
What could put people off?
Many people will assume that what’s putting people off of these electric cars is the price. After all, we seem to be hearing a lot more about expensive luxury models than affordable options. It should be considered how many other problems people see with luxury vehicles beyond the prices, however. There’s the tricky situation when it comes to car accidents. Tooth-and-nail fights are often in store for luxury car drivers if the accident wasn’t their fault; you can read more at https://www.prialeracine.com/car-accidents/fairfax-car-accident-lawyer/. Not only does a luxury vehicle cost more to repair, but it also makes it more likely that people will assume you’re to blame for the accident.
Now let’s consider those who are ready to take on the responsibilities of a luxury vehicle. It’s becoming more clear that electric cars are viable in terms of power and luxury, so this is becoming less of a sales-blocking problem. Still, it could be argued that sales of electric cars simply aren’t climbing as quickly as they need to be. This could have something to do with Tesla’s current dominance of this field; once more manufacturers are offering their own versions, sales – and, thus, awareness – will increase. This will also lead to cheaper Tesla models.
So how well will it sell?
The Jaguar I-Pace is probably going to sell pretty damn well – as long as it’s priced correctly. The specs are definitely competitive, and their production processes look to be the right moves. But will it really give Tesla much to be concerned about? This is unlikely.
Something that needs to be considered is the fact that Jaguar isn’t the giant that a lot of people assume it is. Sure, we all know the name. But they sold under 150,000 vehicles in 2016. It’s a small player, though it’s big in the hearts and minds of many drivers. Even if demand as huge as the demand Tesla’s models receive appears, Jaguar doesn’t have the resources to build I-Paces in the hundreds of thousands.
But does the I-Pace look good? Absolutely. We still need to know (a lot) more, but it will definitely be a surprise if the I-Pace doesn’t turn out to be one of the best cars of 2018.