Wolfgang Ziebart, 64, head of product development for Jaguar Land Rover, is guiding the expansion of the Land Rover and Jaguar ranges. The former BMW product development chief shared thoughts about Jaguar Land Rover's plans for hybrid and electric vehicles in a chat with Automotive News Europe's Nick Gibbs.
Q: JLR will launch more hybrids as well as its first plug-in hybrids. When will we see them?
A: We can't talk about specific dates, but you can expect progress along the route we started with the current hybrid electric [system used in the Range Rover Hybrid and Range Rover Sport Hybrid with the SDV6 diesel]. The share of electric power will increase, and the combustion will be downsized so that you have more opportunity to drive electrically.
Will you go full electric with any vehicle?
The market is in two areas. The first one being inner-city urban transportation. That's less a market for us. The second is as a second or third car for a wealthy family. This is more a market for us. Here we see some Range Rover owners or owners of high-end Jaguars as potentially being attracted to electric vehicles.
If it's a second or third car then it's usually smaller, right?
The Tesla is not a small vehicle. It's XJ size. Europe would like to have an electric car that is small, like the BMW i3 or below -- whereas the U.S. and China would prefer a larger car, and the Tesla direction clearly shows this.