Speaking with industry paper Automotive News Europe, Mr Speth reportedly said potential customers were not yet convinced that EVs are worth the investment, and that battery technology is the key to turning the tide.
Speth said battery packs are too heavy and too expensive, at present, with a poor energy storage capacity verses their weight and cost.
“As we learned at school, there's this correlation between mass and energy and as long as this is not favourable, even if you recuperate, this is an issue,” Mr Speth said.
“The next generation of batteries will be higher density, lower weight, and the cost will come down.”
But Speth stopped short of predicting when this change may occur, saying only that lowering emissions was a priority and that carmakers choosing to ignore a ‘green revolution’ do so at their peril.
The CEO said there is a generation of younger buyers who are willing to switch to electric power, and that they feel carmakers don’t ‘understand’ them anymore.
As for JLR’s part in the green revolution, Speth said the company had quadrupled its overall research and development budget and doubled the number of engineers to 8000 since Tata took over the reins as owner from Ford seven years ago.
Volkswagen and BMW are also reportedly working on all-electric SUVs to go up against the Model X. If true, the Model X may have hit a nerve among carmakers, seeing them more willing to compete with an EV SUV than the Model S as a large luxury sedan.
Stay tuned to TMR for more.
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