Light at end of the tunnel

Riley Riley

Electric cars really work.

Just ask Jaguar which has demonstrated you can drive an electric vehicle 369km, all the way from London to Brussels on a single charge.

The I-PACE began its journey on London’s South Bank, with its 90kWh battery fully charged, before heading to the Channel Tunnel terminal at Folkestone.

Unlike the 80 million vehicles that have made the channel crossing by train since the tunnel opened, the I-PACE travelled the 50km through the world’s longest undersea tunnel under its own steam.

It’s not widely known but a service tunnel runs between the two railway tunnels and it is through this tunnel that engineer Stephen Boulter piloted the car.

After emerging into the sunshine at the other end, the engineer headed east and arrived at the historic Mons Des Arts in central Brussels — with eight per cent charge remaining.

“We know customers won’t compromise on everyday usability so we engineered our electric performance SUV to deliver outstanding real-world range,” he said.

“By driving the 229 miles (369km) from London to Brussels on a single charge – and arriving with plenty of range left – we’ve demonstrated how comfortably it deals with long-distance journeys.”

As part of the challenge, the I-PACE cruised along motorways and negotiated rush-hour traffic in the summer heat to reach the Belgian capital.

To ensure drivers get the greatest range from each charge, the I-PACE is geared up to optimise energy efficiency.

Before the journey begins, pre-conditioning can automatically heat or cool the battery to reach its ideal operating temperature and set the cabin to the desired temperature.

Using power from the grid to do so, instead of drawing current from the battery, is more efficient and maximises range.

The navigation system even takes into account topography and driving style to calculate range, and can plot the most energy-efficient route available.

It will also alert the driver if the programed destination cannot be reached and will help to find a charging station within range.

Using a 100kW DC rapid charger can add up to 100km of extra range in just 15 minutes.

As well as being practical, the I-PACE’s offers strong performance, with the dash from 0-100km/h taking a scant 4.5 seconds.

It has a 470km range and can be charged to 80 per cent capacity within 40 minutes using a 100kW DC charger.

Plug it into a 7kW wall box at home and it takes 10 hours, a process ideally performed overnight.

The instrument cluster can show how much energy different systems draw, such as climate control, and how much range could be gained by switching them off.

And, get this, the Smart Climate feature can sense how many people are in the vehicle and heat or cool only the area around each of them, maintaining passenger comfort while minimising energy consumption.

To showcase the I-PACE’s everyday usability Jaguar has launched an intelligent app so drivers can experience life with its all-electric performance SUV before they get behind the wheel.

The Go I-PACE app builds a unique picture of a vehicle’s use and will even show how many journeys, if any, would have needed a stop to top-up the battery.

It’s free to download but only available to iPhone users at this stage.

CHECKOUT: New for old and older classics

CHECKOUT: Tunnel to underground adventure

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *