Alternative methods of powering consumer cars have generated a lot of discussion over the last decade. Engine platforms that may have been outlandishly expensive concepts not too long ago are now ready to slot into the consumer market and offer a different option to conventionally powered engines.
Electric hybrids are at the forefront of that changing landscape, but are they legitimate options when it comes to practicality and user-friendliness? Jaguar believes they are, and set out to put that theory to the test with their new I-Pace on the road from Johannesburg to Durban, exclusively using its electric power-train.
With a fully charged 90kW battery, the I-Pace reached the midway point at Harrismith – where it was welcomed by a 60kW Jaguar Powerway fast charger. In the time it takes to stretch your legs and get a filling breakfast (mmmm… Wimpy), the I-Pace was charged back up to capacity, and 300km later, it hit its destination – all courtesy of its electric motor.
While the trip was a successful test of the car, it’s also a demonstration to the average consumer of how recharging infrastructure will slowly but surely become prevalent. A lot of consumers have the same nagging concern in the back of their heads when it comes to electric cars: “What happens when the battery runs out, will there be charging stations near me?”
Well, Jaguar’s infrastructure investment in partnership with GridCars will see 82 public charging stations introduced across the country in all major hubs across Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Port Elizabeth, and Bloemfontein. As these charging stations grow in number, so does the viability of electric cars in general, and the I-Pace (launching first quarter of 2019) is busy leading the charge in South Africa.
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