The Future of Electric Vehicles

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The I-TYPE, Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s all-electric Formula E race car.

Through digitisation the car will become an extension of people’s lives and their homes. Cars will communicate, at first with the driver, then eventually with other vehicles and infrastructure.

The automotive industry is going through the biggest changes it has seen in 100 years, driven by new technology, environmental consciousness and shifting social requirements.

Through digitisation, the car will become connected to the wider world, and an extension of people’s lives and their homes. Cars will communicate, at first with the driver, then eventually with other vehicles and the infrastructure.

As we progress through the different levels of autonomy, people’s notions of how we use cars may change. Ultimately we will reach a time when some cars require no driver input at all. Luxury brands will have to adapt to a new autonomous world and offer services beyond just transportation. But I believe people will always have the desire to be part of a luxury brand such as Jaguar and own a car that is a reflection of themselves as an individual.

The widespread acceptance of electric cars will happen in the next ten years. Political pressure and fiscal incentives will make this inevitable, but customers also want smarter, cleaner cars: with the Jaguar I-PACE we’re making electric cars desirable.

For a designer, the most exciting opportunity with electric cars is the freedom they offer. The cab-forward design of the Jaguar I-PACE reflects the change in the propulsion system. Previously cars had big engines therefore they had long bonnets. Not anymore, but we do need to express the car in a way that is true to the values of the brand. In Jaguar’s case it’s about expressing something that looks like a performance vehicle, like it has motion. It’s exciting and always slightly exaggerated.

In the future, cars won’t change beyond recognition. The laws of physics will still apply and unless the human form changes dramatically we will still design around people and their safety.

But beyond that, we can do what we like.

Ian Callum is Jaguar’s Design Director.

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