Jaguar Land Rover reveals EV concepts, details green strategy

While it offers diesel models and even a couple hybrids, Jaguar Land Rover isn't quite as fleshed out on alternative powertrains as its luxurious German rivals. That should change pretty soon.

JLR revealed three concepts at the CENEX Low Carbon Vehicle event in Millbrook, England, today. The Concept_e "research demonstrators" all use a new electric drive module, an EV system that the Indian-owned, British-based outfit claims will double the power and torque of today' electric motors. JLR says these modular EDMs can be paired with any of the company's engines or transmissions to create either a mild hybrid, a plug-in hybrid, or a pure EV. So yeah, this is kind of a big deal.

Arguably the most exciting offering is a one-of-a-kind research vehicle. Riding on JLR's aluminium aluminum architecture, it ties together two electric motors – an 85-kW unit with a single-speed trans on the front axle and a 145-kW rear motor that's been mated to a two-speed transmission – with a 70-kWh li-ion battery that's mounted in the underbody of the car.

There's also the Concept_e MHEV. This is a Range Rover Evoque that's been fitted with a mild hybrid system. Just a refresher, but a mild hybrid is very different than what's found in either a Chevrolet Volt or Toyota Prius, as it uses the electric motor and battery pack to simply assist the internal combustion engine, rather than for an electric driving mode. Reflecting that use, this particular Evoque uses a 15-kilowatt electric motor and a 48-volt, lithium-ion battery pack alongside a 90-metric-horsepower diesel-powered prototype.

Finally, we have a Range Rover Sport-based plug-in hybrid. This brute uses a 300-metric-horsepower prototype gas engine and an eight-speed automatic alongside a 150-kilowatt electric motor. Energy is stored in a trunk-mounted, 320-volt, li-ion battery back.

Partially funded by the British government, the EDMs are the result of a 16.3-million-pound ($25-million) research-and-development program. They're built in house by JLR, but were developed alongside 12 partners. While these concepts are exciting, don't get your hopes up to see a plug-in Jaguar XF or an all-electric Discovery Sport in your local dealer any time soon.

"This is a long-term Jaguar Land Rover research project exploring all aspects of future hybrid and battery electric vehicle technology," JLR research and design boss Dr. Wolfgang Epple said in the attached statement. "The three Concept_e vehicles will allow us to test and develop exciting new potential technologies that could form part of our low-and zero-emissions vision beyond 2020."

Check out the full press release below, as well as JLR's own cutaway images of the Concept_e up top.
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Jaguar Land Rover reveals unique electric Drive Module (eDM) technology that could be used to create future low and zero-emissions vehicles
Three 'Concept_e' research demonstrators showcase potential future Battery Electric Vehicle, Plug-In Hybrid and Mild Hybrid technologies

Whitley, UK: Jaguar Land Rover has revealed some of the new and innovative low and zero emission powertrain technologies it is researching at this year's CENEX Low Carbon Vehicle event.

Three Concept_e research demonstrators showcase this far-reaching future research, which includes a new unique high performance, modular electric drive module (eDM) developed in-house by Jaguar Land Rover. These are capable of producing twice the power and torque of any electric motor-generator in production today. These can be inserted between any engine and transmission to create MHEV or PHEV, or used alone for a BEV.

The Concept_e technologies are the output of an advanced powertrain research programme for state-of-the-art, next-generation hybrid and battery-electric powertrain technologies which began in 2013.

Led by Jaguar Land Rover, this two year £16.3m research project is part-funded by the UK's innovation agency, Innovate UK1 and involves 12 UK technology partners2. It has brought together leading engineers and technologists from academia, the supply chain and industry to create a number of unique and innovative solutions.

Dr Wolfgang Epple, Director of Research and Technology, Jaguar Land Rover, said: "This is a long-term Jaguar Land Rover research project exploring all aspects of future hybrid and battery electric vehicle technology. The three Concept_e vehicles will allow us to test and develop exciting new potential technologies that could form part of our low and zero emissions vision beyond 2020.

"The project is also helping to develop the UK's skills and capabilities in alternative powertrains. We are serious about helping the UK become a world-wide leader in powertrain technologies. Collaborative research programmes like this allow us to multiply the effect of our own R&D investment and nurture the UK's technology supply chain. This approach is helping to develop the skills and technologies that will make the UK even more competitive in the future."

Dr Ruth McKernan, Chief Executive at Innovate UK said: "The world-leading results of this collaborative R&D project not only justify our investment in the project, but promise significant economic benefits for the UK automotive industry and its supply chains. Our £230m investment in the sector over the past 8 years has helped the industry complete a remarkable turnaround, with the UK now seen as the pre-eminent global hub for automotive innovation."

The three Concept_e research demonstrators include:

Concept_e MHEV. The Mild Hybrid is based on a Range Rover Evoque donor vehicle and features a prototype diesel engine (90 PS) and a 48V electrical system. It incorporates a 15 kW crank integrated motor with disconnect clutch within a hybrid module sandwiched between the engine and 9 speed transmission. The motor-generator is powered by an advanced 48-volt electrical system and 48-volt lithium ion battery pack.
Concept_e PHEV. The Plug-In Hybrid employs a similar architecture to the MHEV but with a prototype petrol engine (300 PS) and 8 speed transmission longitudinally mounted within a Range Rover Sport donor vehicle. The electric motor is capable of up to 150 kW and also takes up the function of the starter motor. The motor draws electrical energy from a 320-volt lithium ion battery packaged in the boot. The hybrid powerplant drives through the conventional automatic gearbox normally fitted to the Range Rover Sport and the full time four-wheel drive system is retained.
Concept_e BEV is a bespoke research demonstrator based on Jaguar Land Rover's aluminium vehicle architecture. The underbody has been modified to mount the 70 kWh HV lithium ion traction battery and electric axle drive (EAD) units. The front drive unit features a single speed transmission coupled with an 85 kW electric motor. The rear drive unit features a twin speed transmission coupled with a 145 kW electric motor.
Dr Epple added: "Environmental Innovation is at the heart of our business. We have a wide-ranging low emissions technology strategy, which has created innovations like our Ingenium engine family and lighter vehicles. Technologies like these have already helped us reduce our fleet CO2 average by 25 per cent in recent years.

"Our future vision is to continue to reduce emissions and improve fuel efficiency while still delivering the luxury, performance, refinement and comfort our customers expect. Whether it's optimising the internal combustion engine, advanced hybrid and battery-electric propulsion systems, the introduction of new, lightweight materials or the improvement of energy conservation through more efficient heating and ventilation technologies, we are leaving no stone unturned to ensure Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles emit significantly less emissions in the future."

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