So far Tesla Model S has held the crown for the best high-end, luxury pure electric sedan. And deservedly so, it has been the best-selling electric car for two years in a row (2015 and 2016). What is remarkable is that the Model S leapfrogged Nissan Leaf which had a 2 year headstart and was also at least £25000 cheaper.
Tesla ventured into EV market when all the major OEMs were sitting on the fence despite the huge monetary and engineering resources at their disposal. It has to be mentioned that Tesla Roadster that proceeded Model S was the defining car to kick start the electric car race. The Roadster was the first highway legal, serial production all-electric car to use lithium-ion battery cells.
Five years since the launch of Tesla Model S, the car still stands way ahead of its competition not just in its own category but as the king of all EVs. A car with a capability of more than 200 miles per charge turned the concept of range anxiety into range superiority. It has to be mentioned that Nissan Leaf’s success also played a major role in making the automotive industry re-think its priorities. In the six years after the launch of the Nissan Leaf, more than 32 EV have been rolled out. However, none of these models have been able to keep pace with the Model S.
There is finally competition for the Tesla Model S. Jaguar has just thrown the gauntlet by announcing the I-PACE. The I-PACE will be available to own from the second half of 2018. Things that go in favour of Jaguar is its brand prestige, legacy and engineering expertise in the high end car market. It is certain Jaguar will a few tricks up there sleeve (unique selling points) to woo their potential customers.
Although Jaguar I-PACE has been announced as a sporty 5 seater sedan, but its design reveals it to be equally spacious. It has 5 full seats and luxurious rear passenger legroom plus plenty of storage space. The styling and finish on the interior is stunning as can be expected from Jaguar. For this reason, the I-PACE will compete in the market segment that is currently occupied by Model S rather than the Leaf, BMW i3 or the Chevy Volt/Bolt. The I-PACE will also have a comparable price tag compared to Model S (estimated at £50,000).
Below are the head to head specs for the Model S and I-PACE.
|Tesla Model S||Jaguar I-PACE|
|0 -60 mph||2.5||4||sec|
|Charge Times||64% Charge in 30 min||80% Charge in 90 min||Using supercharger|
|Coefficient of Drag||0.24||0.29|
|Dimensions (LWH)||4.97 x 1.96 x 1.435||4.68 x 1.89 x 1.56||Meters|
The I-PACE has slightly less torque available on the wheels, and therefore it is slower than the Model S in a getting from 0 to 60 mph. Nonetheless this level of acceleration in 4 seconds is still an impressive credential compared to many other hi-spec cars in the market. The Model S is a slightly longer car but has a lower profile. This gives the Model S a superior Coefficient of Drag (0.24).
The I-PACE has 36 Modules (each module is an assembly of Pouch Cells). As expected, the battery pack is liquid cooled. This will enable it to not only fast charge the pack but also deal with extreme climate conditions. The I-PACE has a dual circuit liquid cooling system that can use the cabin air conditioner coolant in its circuit if required. It should be noted that to get the best out of a Li-ion cell, the temperature of the cell should be maintained between 5 °C to 45 °C. The total number of individual cells in I-PACE is a few hundred compared to thousands of smaller 18650 cells in Model S. The high range of the I-PACE (of 310 miles) means that customers will only have to charge it once a week given that the average commute per day is only 31 miles.
The platform design for I-PACE has been lifted out of Jaguar F-PACE SUV. The battery-pack is positioned such that it is an integral member of the car platform similar to Model S. The drivetrain is also extremely similar (positioning of dual electric motors). It will be interesting to see the battle of two cars both with the X-factor and a cult customer base. What can be said with certainty is that if it wasn’t for the Model S, the I-PACE would have been priced much higher if it would have existed at all.
It should be noted that the I-PACE will be not the first electric car in the JLR family. Land Rover has already produced the Electric Defender (2012-2016)
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