Jaguar announces fast-charging details and launch date for new I-Pace

Jaguar have announced exciting new details on the upcoming I-Pace, the headline of which is a revolutionary new fast-charging system which will enable the car to be charged from a mains power socket in just 45 minutes. 

Pictures of final pre-production prototypes undergoing arctic winter testing have been released, as have two important dates: pricing will be announced and orders will officially open on 1st March 2018, and the final production version will be launched to the world at the Geneva Motor Show on 6th March 2018. 

Jaguar held a special test session in the arctic to allay fears about the reduced range of battery powered electric cars in cold conditions, which has been a major concern up until now. Batteries hold their charge through a chemical reaction, which changes according to the temperature of the battery and the chemicals within. This is the reason why some electric car manufacturers, such as Tesla, quote a varying range according to ambient temperature.

Jaguar have confronted this problem by designing a system which heats the battery and maintains it at its optimal temperature, thereby keeping the range of the I-Pace at a constant 300+ miles. To prove that the system works effectively, the media test, held at Jaguar Land Rover's arctic proving ground in Arjeplog, Sweden, saw the cars driven extensively in conditions as cold as -40°C.  

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But this is Jaguar, and its pleasing to see that driving pleasure has not been forgotten in the pursuit of eco-efficiency. The electric motors combine to give a total output just north of 400bhp, which is more than enough to have some fun with, especially for those lucky enough to have a go on that frozen lake in Sweden. There's no denying that this will be a heavy car, but quality damping, clever suspension tuning and technical wizardry such as torque vectoring by braking should combine to produce a car that is fun in the twisty bits at the very least, if not totally inspiring. 

Even though we will see the I-Pace on track in a one-make support race for the 2018 Formula E championship, you've got to remember that this isn't a sports car - it's a sports oriented family car to be used for everyday errands and short holidays. In this context, the I-Pace makes perfect sense. Even ardent petrol heads agree that electric cars are better suited for driving around cities and in heavy traffic.

No, the I-Pace can't touch a Lightweight E-Type screaming through Triple Webers for sheer excitement, and it will never replace the F-Type or XK8 that sits in your garage for sunny Sundays and special occasions. It is simply daily transport to be used in conjunction with, not instead of, your more exciting internally combusted powered Jaguar. In this sense, the I-Pace makes perfect sense, and we're eagerly counting down the days until the 6th of March. 

Words by Andrew Coles

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