Those that keep up with the transitions within the energy sector will be familiar with the term electrification, and it’s exactly as it suggests—eliminates carbon-intensive power sources from the energy supply chain.
As a result of this, more emphasis is also placed on shifting cars over the battery-electric power, which is fast becoming the most significant evolution of our time. With this in mind, the term often has connotations of electric vehicles (EVs), but in fact covers the entire energy supply chain, from solar panels and hydroelectric power to the operation of machines, transportation networks, and commercial fleets.
Through its Reimagine sustainability strategy, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is one of the most influential automotive companies in the electrification space and a rapid accelerator of EV adoption with its Jaguar i-Pace. Manufacturing primarily high-end cars, JLR showcases a green strategy in action that supports business fleets and doesn’t compromise on quality despite its actions towards sustainability.
The drive towards electrification
We asked François Dossa, Executive Director of Strategy & Sustainability at JLR, how he defines electrification and what this looks like for businesses transitioning to more sustainable fleet operations.
“For us, this means offering compelling, luxury electric vehicles to our clients as well as using renewable energy in our own operations and those of our supply chain,” says Dossa. At JLR, our goal is to become one of the most sustainable modern luxury car manufacturers in the world. Our Reimagine strategy, announced in 2021, sets out how we plan to get there and has electrification at its core.”
Clarifying the company’s commitment to this new era, JLR is investing £15m over five years to prepare itself for an all-electric product range, which Dossa says will result in nine new cars launched by 2030. “By investing in new technologies and creating aspirational electrified products, we hope we can change the way people think about sustainable travel and inspire confidence in an electric future.
But the consumer market has its own ups and downs. Focusing on the most current task at hand—switching fleets to electric—Dossa discussed the industry challenges that present themselves in the wake of the electric company car transition.
Overcoming challenges in EV adoption
Firstly, there’s the technology side of things. EVs don’t just come with functional smart dashboards and simpler driving mechanisms, but they also warrant installation of charging systems and training on how to use them. According to Dossa, “this requires a complete change of mindset for our industry, but if we can achieve that, it will accelerate the journey for us all”.
As he also points out, electrification is one of the largest supply chain shifts in decades. This creates a number of gaps in terms of accessibility and skills with JLR focused on helping the industry evolving from an educational perspective.
“The era of EVs also comes with a shift in skills requirements, which is why we’re focused on preparing our colleagues and partners, upskilling and creating new jobs, so we are ready to make the most of the opportunities that come with the electric transformation,” says Dossa.
He continues: “For all the challenges, we know that the shift to EVs is something our clients overwhelmingly support. Our clients are informed and passionate—they see what’s happening to our planet and they’re aware of the impact of their decisions on it. So, we believe the luxury car segment has huge power to influence the shift to electric vehicles and create a positive impact.”
The hidden benefits of EVs in the energy landscape
When it comes to switching cars, information is key. From a product development perspective, companies have a new angle for their solutions and digital ecosystems. JLR’s example shines through battery production as Dossa provides an example of what automakers can do to create more value from EVs.
“For example, EV batteries have significant value beyond their life in a car, so, we’re exploring ways to use them in second and even third life applications,” says Dossa. “The options for reusing electric vehicle batteries are broad, such as grid stabilisation or energy storage for buildings using solar power. This circular way of thinking about our vehicles is better for us as a business and for the planet.”
“The transition to EVs also pushes us into new digital and technological advances. Our electric vehicles will have improved connectivity, charging services and battery management systems. For our clients, it’s not just a different powertrain that they get when they buy an electric vehicle, they get a more modern and more luxurious experience all round.”
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