Jaguar Land Rover was granted a £500 million loan guarantee ($626 million in current exchange rates) from the UK government in order to accelerate the development of electric cars.
During a meeting with industry leaders, UK Prime Minister Theresa May said that Jaguar Land Rover’s funding would include £500 million from the UK Export Finance, along with another £125 million from commercial lenders, the Guardian reports.
The British car maker has only recently announced its plans to produce a new range of electrified vehicles that will be made at its Castle Bromwich factory, which includes the next-gen battery-electric XJ sedan.
JLR’s future electric vehicles will be based on the MLA platform and feature a 90.2kWh battery pack, rendering them capable of traveling up to 292 miles (470km) on a full charge. Plug-in hybrid models will feature a 13.1kWh battery and an electric-only driving range of up to 31 miles (50km).
The country’s biggest car maker will make a major investment at its factory, planning to offer electrified version of all of its models by 2020. The factory update will include a new Battery Assembly Center that will become operational in 2020 with a capacity of 150,000 units annually.
JLR’s investment will safeguard at least 2,500 jobs locally which is good news, especially for a company that earlier this year announced that it would cut 4,500 positions globally.
May met with senior executives from Jaguar Land Rover, Ford, BMW, Nissan and PSA, telling them that the government has set out a number of commitments in order to increase the number of electric vehicles on UK’s roads. These include mandatory EV charging points on all new-build homes.