Jaguar’s first electric vehicle, the I-PACE offers a pleasing and aggressive design, luxury appointments, and exceptional driving characteristics. Part of Jaguar’s PACE family of vehicles along with the gasoline-powered E-PACE and F-PACE, the electric I-PACE blazes its own trails with great acceleration and handling on purely battery power, something it proved time after time in Green Car Journal’s drives on interstates, in the city, and on twisty canyon roads.
The I-PACE is is available in three trim levels, S, SE and HSE, starting at $69,500. Besides being Jaguar Land Rover’s first all-electric vehicle, it is also the first one that can receive over-the-air system software updates as new capabilities become available.
I-PACE is powered by two identical 197 horsepower electric motors that produce a total of 394 horsepower and 512 lb-ft torque. One motor drives the front wheels while the other powers the rear, resulting in all-wheel-drive. It can also operate on a single motor for more efficient two-wheel drive motoring when appropriate. Acceleration from 0-to-60 mph is a claimed 4.5 seconds, a performance characteristic we enjoyed throughout our drives.
This Jaguar electric SUV is essentially equal to its all-electric competitors when it comes to range between charges at 234 miles. Electrical energy is stored in a 90 kilowatt-hour, underfloor battery pack consisting of 432 high-energy density lithium-ion pouch cells. The battery pack's location provides a low center of gravity that enhances driving dynamics.
The I-PACE has an aluminum body like other current Jaguar Land Rover vehicles. In this case the underfloor battery pack housing is used as a structural component, which provides I-PACE the greatest torsional stiffness of any model in Jaguar Land Rover’s lineup. The battery pack can be charged to 80 percent capacity in 40 minutes from a 100 kW source or in 85 minutes with a 50 kW charger.
Because there is no engine up front, the base of the windshield has been moved forward compared to the E-PACE and F-PACE to provide more interior space. Thus, while being similar in dimensions to its conventionally-powered siblings, it has a roomier interior. While a battery electric vehicle, it retains the appearance of an internal combustion model. For instance, there’s a radiator behind the front grille for the battery's liquid-coolant system. The grille also directs airflow through the hood scoop to reduce drag, and active vanes in the grille and front bumper can close to further improve aerodynamics when battery cooling and the climate-control system aren’t needed. Other aerodynamic features include powered hideaway door handles. Air springs are standard and can lower the car by as much as 0.4 inches at highway speeds to further reduce drag.
Torque Vectoring by Braking gives the I-PACE sports car-like agility. Controlled independent braking on the individual inside front and rear wheels adds to the turning forces acting on the car. Under most conditions, more braking pressure is applied to the rear inside wheel as this best supports increased cornering capability, while the front inside wheel is braked for greater effectiveness and refinement. Adaptive Surface Response constantly monitors the car's driving environment and adjusts appropriate motor and brake settings.
The I-PACE offers a wide array of driver assist and connectivity features that vary with trim level. The Park Package includes Park Assist, 360-degree Parking Aid, and Rear Traffic Monitor. A Drive Package provides Blind Spot Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go, and High-Speed Emergency Braking. Connectivity features include Remote, Navigation Pro, Connect Pro, 4G Wi-Fi Hotspot), and Stolen Vehicle Locator.
An important part of Green Car Journal’s mission is encouraging environmental progress in the auto industry through its annual Green Car Awards™ program.
These high-profile awards recognize vehicles that champion environmental achievement while remaining true to their purpose – they are fun to drive, look to our safety, provide value, and deliver the attributes most important to new car buyers Importantly, they lead the way forward in meaningful ways through lower carbon emissions, greater efficiency, and improved overall environmental compatibility.
Green Car of the Year®, the magazine’s signature award first presented at the 2005 L.A. Auto Show, enjoys worldwide attention and is widely recognized as the most prestigious environmental award in the auto industry.
Weighing the merits of this award’s finalists are jurors from highly-respected efficiency and environmental organizations including Jean-Michel Cousteau, President of Ocean Futures Society; Matt Petersen, Board Chair of Climate Mayors; Dr. Alan Lloyd, Senior Research Fellow at the Energy Institute, University of Texas at Austin; Mindy Lubber, President of CERES; and Jason Hartke, President of the Alliance to Save Energy. Celebrity auto enthusiast Jay Leno and Green Car Journal editors round out the awards jury.
Models considered for Green Car Awards™ span all vehicle classes, from economy cars to luxury cars, and from Show. In addition, all five exceptional finalists for each award earn Green Car Journal’s 2019 Green Car Product of Excellence™ distinction for their environmental achievement.
GREEN CAR OF THE YEAR® Winner: Honda Insight. Finalists: Lexus ES 300h, Nissan Altima VC-Turbo, Toyota Avalon Hybrid, Volkswagen Jetta.
GREEN TRUCK OF THE YEAR™ Winner: RAM 1500. Finalists: Chevrolet Colorado, Chevrolet Silverado, Ford F-150, Ford Ranger.
CONNECTED GREEN CAR OF THE YEAR™ Winner: Nissan LEAF. Finalists: Audi e-tron, Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid, Tesla Model 3, Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.
COMMERCIAL GREEN CAR OF THE YEAR™ Winner: Ford Transit Connect. Finalists: Ford Special Service PHEV Sedan, Mercedes-Benz Metris, RAM 1500, RAM ProMaster City.
Along with models like the 2019 Jaguar I-PACE, Audi e-tron, and upcoming Porsche Taycan, we're seeing a new generation of high-tech battery-powered vehicles that bring an exciting new direction to legacy automakers. These models also have something important in common: They aim to disrupt Tesla, the industry’s de-facto electric car leader.
Disruption is a word thrown about with abandon these days as veritable institutions of business and commerce fall from grace, or at least profitability, at the hands of an ever-changing and disruptive world. Think Sears, Borders, and Kodak. The list of major companies disrupted – either gone, a shadow of their former self, or on the ropes – continues to grow. While the auto industry has largely escaped this same fate, change is definitely in the wind. And its bogeyman in recent years has clearly been Tesla.
PREVIOUS DISRUPTION: We’ve seen the auto industry disrupted before, not by innovators but rather by geo-politics, circumstance, and a lack of long-term vision. The Arab Oil Embargo of 1973 and the 1979 Oil Crisis that brought serious gas shortages were a result of political disruption. It was a time when stations ran out of gas, lines of cars snaked for blocks as drivers tried desperately to keep their tanks full and their car-dependent lives on track, and consumers looked for more fuel-efficient vehicles to ease their pain. The problem, however, was there were few fuel-efficient models being produced since there had been no particular demand for them. The auto industry had to adapt, but with typically long product cycles it would take years to adequately fill this need.
Segue to 2003 and the launch of Tesla Motors, an occurrence that seemed interesting but hardly a threat to legacy automakers. Its high-tech Tesla Roadster introduced in 2008 – based on engineless ‘gliders’ produced by Lotus – proved that electric cars could be sporty, fun, and go the distance in ways that all other electrics before it could not, to the tune of 250 miles of battery electric driving on a single charge. Then came the Tesla designed-and-built Model S, Model X, and the new-to-the-scene Model 3. Clearly, the battle for leadership in electric cars was underway.
A HISTORY OF INNOVATION: The auto industry’s penchant for innovation has always characterized its giants. Over its long history, this is an industry that brought us the three-point safety belt, airbags, anti-lock braking, cruise control, direct fuel injection, electronic ignition, and near-zero emission gasoline engines. And let us not forget Kettering’s invention of the electric starter that first saw use in 1912 Cadillacs, an innovation that tipped the scales – and history – in favor of internal combustion over electric cars of the era and helped lead to the combustion engine’s dominance to this day.
While Tesla may have established its role as the industry’s electric car innovator, that’s not to say that legacy automakers haven’t made tremendous progress. GM’s short-lived EV1 electric car of the 1990s proved that exciting and fun electric cars were possible, but not necessarily affordable to make at the time. The technologies developed by GM through the EV1 program live on to this day with evolutionary electric-drive technology found in its acclaimed Chevrolet Bolt EV and other electrified models. Advanced battery electric production vehicles have also been a focus at Audi, BMW, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Smart, and VW, with others like Porsche set to enter the market with long-range battery EVs.
So here’s the lesson of the day: If a business model no longer works, as was the case with General Motors and Chrysler during the financial meltdown in the late 1990s, you restructure. A brand no longer resonates with consumers? You drop it, like GM did with Oldsmobile. And if a class of vehicles is falling out of favor in lieu of more desired ones, you move on, as Ford is doing by phasing out almost all of its passenger cars in coming years in favor of more desired crossover/SUVs and pickups.
THE AGE OF ELECTRIFICATION: A paradigm shift is also occurring as automakers grapple with changing consumer preferences, regulatory requirements, and the projected demand for future vehicles and technologies. Enter the age of electrification. Over the past decade, Tesla has set the bar for innovative battery electric propulsion, advancements in near-autonomous driving technology, over-the-air vehicle software updates, and more. It has achieved a real or perceived leadership position in these areas and that’s a threat to legacy automakers. Now automakers are responding in a serious way and Tesla itself is under siege.
GM fired the first volley with its 2017 Bolt EV, beating Tesla’s long-touted Model 3 to market with an affordable long-range EV capable of traveling 238 miles on battery power. While Tesla is now delivering its well-received Model 3 in increasing numbers after a series of production challenges, the race with GM to produce an ‘affordable’ mainstream EV with 200-plus mile range was not much of a race to affordability at all. GM won that one handily, holding the line with a $37,500 price (after destination charges), while Tesla’s $35,000 Model 3 has yet to materialize. As Tesla did with its earlier model launches, the automaker is delivering uplevel, high-content, and higher-performance versions first, in the case of the Model 3 from a recently-lowered base price of $42,900 to $60,900, depending on configuration. The Bolt EV’s MSRP has moved in the other direction, dropping slightly to $36,620 for the 2019 model.
Nissan’s all-new, next-generation LEAF that debuted in 2018 improved its range to 150 miles, with a recently-announced LEAF PLUS model joining the lineup with a bigger battery and a range of 226 miles. Hyundai’s 2019 Kona Electric and Kia’s 2019 Niro Electric offer a battery range of about 250 miles, although these offer availability only in California and perhaps a few other ‘green’ states.
EXCITING NEW ENTRIES: Jaguar’s 2019 I-PACE, a fast and sporty crossover with a 234 mile battery electric range, is now available and priced to compete with Tesla’s Model S and X. We'll soon be seeing Audi e-tron and Porsche Taycan long-range electrics on U.S. highways, with others like Aston Martin and Maserati developing high-end electric models as well.
It will be interesting to see how this all plays out over the coming months and years. To be sure, legacy automakers will not cede their leadership positions and market share without a terrific fight… and that fight is intensifying. Tesla doesn’t fear risk and has shown it will go in new directions that others will not, unless they must.
But Tesla doesn’t operate like legacy automakers that have been around for a long time, some more than a century. Those companies have mastered mass production, fielded extensive model lineups, developed widespread and convenient service networks, and have a history of successful worldwide distribution. Tesla is still learning this game, although it is making headway with its intense and successful efforts to deliver increasing numbers of its Model 3 to customers.
Importantly, legacy automakers are immensely profitable, while Tesla has had but a few profitable quarters since its launch and its losses have been in the billions. Tesla’s well-documented difficulties in ramping up mass production of the company’s 'entry-level' Model 3 – and its initial deliveries of only up-level Model 3 examples at significantly higher cost than its widely-publicized $35,000 base price – have added to its challenges.
That said, it would be a mistake to count Tesla out for the long haul based on its current and historic challenges including missed financial and vehicle delivery targets, serious Model 3 production challenges, and a number of high-profile Tesla crashes while driving on its much-touted Autopilot. Regardless of all this, in 2018 Tesla’s Model 3 was the best-selling luxury model in the U.S.
Legacy automakers will have Tesla directly in their sights and Tesla will continue to innovate. A veritable race-to-the-finish!
Green Car Journal has made a strategic expansion of its annual Green Car of the Year® program at the LA Auto Show’s AutoMobility LA this year, now including complementary awards for 2019 Luxury Green Car of the Year™ and 2019 Green SUV of the Year™. The magazine has also just announced finalists for the three high-profile awards.
Finalists for 2019 Green Car of the Year® include the Honda Insight, Lexus ES 300h, Nissan Altima, Toyota Avalon Hybrid, and Volkswagen Jetta. Competing for 2019 Luxury Green Car of the Year™ are finalists Audi e-tron, Jaguar I-PACE, Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid, Range Rover P400e, and Tesla Model 3. The field of 2019 Green SUV of the Year™ finalists includes the Cadillac XT4, Hyundai Kona, Lexus UX, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, and the Volvo XC40.
Finalists for the 2019 Green Car of the Year® illustrate that 'green' comes in many forms, with efficient internal combustion and hybrid vehicles taking center stage. Gasoline models continue to achieve notable levels of efficiency and lower carbon emissions. At the same time, it's evident how important electrification has become in today's models, with two 2019 Green SUV of the Year™ finalists and all five finalists for the 2019 Luxury Green Car of the Year™ featuring battery electric or plug-in hybrid power. Green Car Journal has been recognizing leadership in the automotive field through its Green Car Awards program over the past 14 years.
2019 GREEN CAR OF THE YEAR FINALISTS
The new-generation Nissan Altima has a more aggressive stance, advanced ProPILOT Assist, and greater efficiency with its turbocharged, variable compression four-cylinder engine.
TOYOTA AVALON HYBRID
Toyota's new Avalon Hybrid is longer, lower, and more stylish, with high mpg and spirited driving delivered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and all-new Toyota Hybrid System II powertrain.
Since its inception in 2006, the Green Car of the Year® has been selected by Green Car Journal editors and invited jurors from highly-respected efficiency and environmental organizations. This year's invited Green Car of the Year® jurors include celebrity auto enthusiast Jay Leno; Jean-Michel Cousteau, President of Ocean Futures Society; Matt Petersen, President and CEO of Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator and Board Member of Global Green USA; Dr. Alan Lloyd, President Emeritus of the International Council on Clean Transportation and Senior Research Fellow at the Energy Institute, University of Texas at Austin; Mindy Lubber, President of CERES; and Jason Hartke, President of the Alliance to Save Energy.
2019 LUXURY GREEN CAR OF THE YEAR FINALISTS
The new Audi e-tron crossover SUV is this automaker's first all-electric production model, combining a handsome design, all-wheel drive performance, and a range of well over 200 miles.
PORSCHE CAYENNE E-HYBRID
RANGE ROVER P400e
TESLA MODEL 3
Tesla's latest offering, the Model 3, is a stylish and high-tech sedan offering a signature Tesla look, lots of advanced technology, and an EPA estimated electric range of 210 to 310 miles.
2019 GREEN SUV OF THE YEAR FINALISTS
MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER PHEV