Single-motor Electric Vehicles? Lame, Says Jaguar

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
single motor electric vehicles lame says jaguar

Jaguar’s I-Pace seems to be Tesla’s greatest threat, if pre-orders in Europe (and glowing reviews) are anything to go on. The electric SUV, which arrives in the U.S. later this year, features twin motors and a combined output of 394 horsepower and 512 lb-ft of torque funnelled to all four wheels.

This is the only way to build a sporty electric car, Jaguar claims. Speaking at the model’s recent global launch, Jaguar Land Rover’s head of vehicle development, Wolfgang Zeibart, said the company threw out any ideas for a two-wheel drive version.

“If you really want a lame duck then you can do it,” he said. This mantra applies to future Jaguar electrics, which will almost certainly appear with the I-Pace’s platform underneath.

According to Wheels, Zeibart made sure to slam Tesla as he rhymed off the vehicle’s attributes. Features, it should be noted, that required a dual-motor setup to pull off. These include handling, traction, regenerative braking, wheelbase, and interior volume.

“The Tesla S was a single-motor design initially, and what that means is if you have only one driven axle you cannot put the wheel into this (I-Pace) position,” he said. “You must move it forward as you need load on the driven axle. When it moves forward you reduce the interior space and the available space for the battery. It’s one compromise after the other and therefore we decided two motors – full stop.”

To recoup maximum energy during regenerative braking, you’d want the electric motor mounted in the front, Zeibart said, but that would impact the car’s launch abilities.

“If you accelerate, the rear motor is the better motor,” he said. “If you want to recuperate, the front motor is the one. We can recuperate up to 150 kW, but if you only do it on the rear axle you are limited to about 60 kW. If you recover (only) from the front, any longitudinal force you apply reduces your available side force. This then makes the car unstable.”

The I-Pace’s purpose-built platform is “definitely scaleable,” Zeibart added, meaning we’ll likely see a range of vehicles built off the I-Pace’s bones. Perhaps a flagship sedan will be among those future models?

But back to Tesla, which Zeibart took every opportunity to poke in the eye.

“The Tesla has a disadvantage as the battery cooling is so poor,” he said. “They have round cells that are basically cooled by air and then they have a water plate underneath. Here (I-Pace), the cells are standing on a water plate so the cooling is much better.”

Tesla apparently refutes this assertion, but Zeibart doesn’t seem to care.

“What we have seen on the Nurburgring, the Tesla degrades rather quickly whereas this car runs the full lap,” he said.

When the I-Pace appears on these shores, it will carry a base sticker of $70,495 (after delivery). Food for thought for luxury EV buyers, as that’s $10k less than Tesla’s Model X. All Teslas stand to see their federal tax credit diminish before too long, too, thus widening the price gap between the two rivals.

[Image: Jaguar Land Rover]

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5 of 42 comments
  • Civicjohn Civicjohn on Jun 10, 2018

    At least they didn’t tweet out the specifications.

  • Chopperjamie Chopperjamie on Jun 10, 2018

    How far have we come in this world when Jaguar is an expert in anything electrical?

    • See 2 previous
    • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Jun 11, 2018

      @peeryog Probably many engineers are still from India. How I know that - I work in Silicon Valley. BTW I doubt Jaguar develops electrical systems in house, rather outsources to specialists. My friend from Detroit worked at Lear on keyless entry systems for Jaguar and Nissan. He told me he saw lot of Indians in Jaguar HQ when he was there on business trip.

  • CEastwood Seven mil nitrile gloves from Harbor Freight for oil changes and such and the thicker heavy duty gripper gloves from Wally World for most everything else . Hell we used to use no gloves for any of that and when we did it was usually the white cloth gloves bought by the dozen or the gray striped cuff ones for heavy duty use . Old man rant over , but I laugh when I see these types of gloves in a bargain bin at Home Cheapo for 15 bucks a pair !
  • Not Previous Used Car of the Day entries that spent decades in the weeds would still be a better purchase than this car. The sucker who takes on this depreciated machine will learn the hard way that a cheap German car is actually a very expensive way to drive around.
  • Bullnuke Well, production cuts may be due to transport-to-market issues. The MV Fremantle Highway is in a Rotterdam shipyard undergoing repairs from the last shipment of VW products (along with BMW and others) and to adequately fireproof it. The word in the shipping community is that insurance necessary for ships moving EVs is under serious review.
  • Frank Wait until the gov't subsidies end, you aint seen nothing yet. Ive been "on the floor" when they pulled them for fuel efficient vehicles back during/after the recession and the sales of those cars stopped dead in their tracks
  • Vulpine The issue is really stupidly simple; both names can be taken the wrong way by those who enjoy abusing language. Implying a certain piece of anatomy is a sign of juvenile idiocy which is what triggered the original name-change. The problem was not caused by the company but rather by those who continuously ridiculed the original name for the purpose of VERY low-brow humor.