"Customers are not impressed with it currently." These are the words of one Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover, spoke at the Automotive News Europe Congress in Birmingham, England. The "it" Speth is referring to is battery technology, which he characterized as "too heavy, too expensive," and with power density that's "too low." That all could go some way towards explaining why the British automaker has yet to bring an electric vehicle to market, why it killed the C-X75 hybrid-turbine supercar project, and why it only recently started offering hybrid versions of its Range Rover models (and has yet to offer them in the United States).

That doesn't mean the company won't pursue electric propulsion in the future, though. According to Automotive News Europe, Speth forecasts that "the next generation of batteries will be higher density, lower weight and the cost will come down." What he didn't say, exactly, is when he expects that next generation of battery tech to come around – or when JLR will start to more closely embrace electric propulsion.

In the meantime, Jaguar Land Rover will continue investing in research and development. Since Tata acquired the brands from Ford seven years ago, JLR has quadrupled its R&D budget and doubled the number of engineers on staff.

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