While in New Zealand, we are all oohing and aahing over the Hyundai Kona, Europe looks to the I-PACE for an SUV with an extended range.
To prove a point, Jaguary drove the I-PACE from London to Brussels on a single charge – that’s 369km. Not too shabby.
The all-electric SUV began its intercity trip on London’s South Bank, with its 90kWh battery fully charged, before heading to the Channel Tunnel terminal at Folkestone. But unlike the 80 million vehicles that have made the crossing by train since the Channel Tunnel opened, the I-PACE travelled the 50km through the world’s longest undersea tunnel using its own power.
After emerging into the Calais sunshine from the service tunnel which runs between the two rail tunnels, Stephen Boulter, the Jaguar engineer behind the wheel, headed east and arrived at the historic Mons Des Arts in central Brussels with eight per cent battery charge still in reserve.
Stephen Boulter, Vehicle Integration Manager, Jaguar I-PACE, said: “We know customers won’t compromise on everyday usability so we engineered our electric performance SUV to deliver outstanding real-world range. By driving the 369km from London to Brussels on a single charge – and arriving with plenty of range left – we’ve demonstrated how comfortably it deals with long-distance journeys.”
As part of the challenge, the I-PACE cruised along motorways and negotiated rush-hour traffic in the summer heat to reach the Belgian capital.
The I-PACE is all setup for EV driving. For example, before the journey begins, pre-conditioning can automatically heat or cool the battery to reach its ideal operating temperature and set the cabin to the desired temperature. Using power from the grid to do this instead of drawing current from the battery is more efficient and maximises range.
The navigation system takes account of route topography and driving style to calculate range on any given journey and can plot the most energy-efficient route available. It will also alert the driver if the programmed destination cannot be reached and will help to find charging stations within range – using a 100kW DC rapid charger can add up to 100km of extra range in just 15 minutes.
The I-PACE’s state-of-the-art 90kWh Lithium-ion battery offers sports car performance of 0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds alongside the practicality of a 292 mile range (WLTP cycle) and 0-80 per cent charging time of 40 minutes (100kW DC).
The instrument cluster can show how much energy certain systems, such as climate control, are using, and how much range could be gained by switching them off. If equipped with four-zone climate control, the Smart Climate feature uses the restraint system’s sensors to determine how many people are in the vehicle and only heat or cool the area around each of them, maintaining comfort while minimising energy consumption.