Sunday, 29 March 2020

Now you can go electric in style

Now you can go electric in style

If you are going to go electric — and indications are that many more motorists this year will buy an EV (electric vehicle) — then you might as well do it in style.

And probably one of the most luxurious electric cars available to buy today is the new Jaguar
I-Pace.

Luxurious it certainly is, and therefore consummately comfortable, as the interior displays the expected hallmarks of any upmarket Jaguar Land Rover model.

The ride is not so much a rumble along with the familiar fuel-powered engine upfront as an electrically driven glide through the byways of Britain.

Certainly, I could easily get used to the lack of ambient sounds in a “normal” car — noisy engine, creaking bodywork, umpteen squeaks and even smells.

The unbounded sounds of silence from an electric car of the I-Pace’s calibre — World Car of the Year for 2019 — I found an attractive proposition.

There is also the question of so-called “range anxiety” which has been addressed by carmakers of the latest EVs. Make no mistake, driving an electric car is a totally different way of driving to what motorists have been used to for the past century and a half.

My foremost conclusion after driving several EVs and spending time with the Jaguar I-Pace is that, number one, you need a dedicated EV charger at home.

Many EVs, including the
I-Pace, you can plug into the domestic supply but it can take an age to “trickle charge” the car.

In many ways you have to treat owning an EV like owning a smartphone: the cardinal sin is to run out of battery power.

You would also need to be able to charge your EV at work, again at a dedicated charging point. It helps if your commute by car is short. If it is a long commute then it is essential to be able to charge up your EV while you work.

The five-seat Jaguar I-Pace SUV (sport utility vehicle) has a 292-mile range from a full charge. The drive is from all wheels providing “all-surface traction”.

You feel this when behind the wheel. It takes a few miles to get used to, but once acclimatised handling is smooth with excellent driver control of the I-Pace.

If you want to take off quick, the acceleration is literally electric. Torque (pulling power) is instant because there is no delay in the engine building up revs, as in a conventional internal combustion engine. The I-Pace travels from 0-60mph in just 4.5 seconds.

This is exhilarating, with the proviso that you are mindful of the fact that you will be knocking miles off your electric car’s range at a great rate of knots.

Jaguar strikes a cautionary note on this issue. A spokesman said: “When pressing the accelerator pedal, remember that electric motors deliver maximum torque from 0 rpm.”

The I-Pace develops almost the same lift-off power as the Jaguar F-Type SVR sports car’s supercharged V8 — “so launch performance is strong to say the least!”

For the I-Pace owner there are also some useful bits of technology designed to make owning this electric car as comfortable as possible.

There is a Range Map, which shows different range indications based on the modes within Jaguar Drive Control (for example, Eco or Comfort).

Low Power Alert warns the driver when the battery is running down, and will suggest charging stations within the remaining range.

Personal Comfort Zone enables the driver to adjust how early or late low power alerts are given.

Setting a destination within range checks if power is low at each destination/waypoint, when range drops below the comfort zone set by the driver, and also the estimated range left in the battery at the final destination.

Point of No Return warns the driver if the programmed destination cannot be reached and will help to find charging stations within range and then start guidance to them.

Charging at home is made easy if you have a 7kW AC wall box installed. This is good for overnight charging to top up your range, and can deliver up to 22 miles of range per hour. Charging the battery from 0-80 per cent takes 10 hours; 0-100 per cent takes 12.9 hours.

Supplied with every I-Pace, the Public Charging Cable (known as a Mode 3 Charging Cable) connects to standard AC public charging points.

Jaguar technology allows the owner to search for public charge points in the UK via www.zap-map.com, and filter them by network operator, power rating, pay-as-you-go or account-based billing via app or card.

The I-Pace uses its electric motors as generators when you lift off the accelerator — this recharges the battery and maximises range.

The I-Pace is a luxury EV and comes at a premium price.

But if you are going to go electric and can do it in style, then the Jaguar I-Pace is a worthy proposition.

Factfile

Jaguar I-Pace 400PS Electric SE

Price: from £69,995 on the road

On the road price including PiCG (Plug-in-Car-Grant): £66,495

292-mile range from a full charge

Maximum speed: 124mph

Acceleration: 0-60mph, 4.5 secs

Standard specification includes:

Automatic headlights

Smartphone Pack consists of Apple Carplay/Android Auto, InControl Apps

LED lights

Home Charging Cable

Public Charging Cable

Motoring