Jaguar has revealed four sketches, in partnership with architect firm Barr Gazetas, that predict how the future of urban and rural landscapes could look thanks to the growing popularity of electric vehicles.
The car maker’s interest in the changing landscape stems from its investment in electric vehicles. Last year, it launched its well-received I-Pace electric SUV, and an electric XJ saloon is expected in 2020.
“Electric vehicles such as the I-PACE are proving hugely successful, with sales exceeding expectations,” a Jaguar spokesman told Autocar. “This was the reason for embarking on such a study with a group of architects.”
Jaguar design director Ian Callum, who collaborated on the designs with Barr Gazetas, said the growth in EVs gave a “unique chance for wholesale change of the facilities available for drivers as we reinvent usage and ‘filling’ patterns for our vehicles”.
The four sketches, entitled Today, Tomorrow, Electric City and Electric Future, propose a revival of defunct urban spaces, more connectivity between infrastructure, and reduced pollution and noise levels.
The first, Today, is a reimagination of Forton Services on the M6. Jaguar said that the eradication of conventional fuelling methods has allowed for a more open, cleaner and quieter environment. Longer fuel stops necessitated by slower charging methods have been exploited as an opportunity to establish restaurants, farm shops, gyms and other facilities within the service area.
Jaguar claims that such environmental improvements could allow for an increased connection to communities in the surrounding areas, as service stations become more of a destination in and of themselves.
Tomorrow takes a well-known car park near Oxford Street in London, and transforms it into a self-sufficient charging hub for electric vehicle users. Primarily benefitting those who suffer from a lack of parking near their homes, the building will use solar panels to generate power for charging the new generation of vehicles.
The resulting cleaner surroundings will open up parts of the unit for the establishment of retail and leisure facilities, said the car maker.
Jaguar extends its predictions to encompass aspects of community life with the Electric City concept, which, through reimagining Liverpool’s Stanley Dock, demonstrates how greater availability of green energy can allow for a rejuvenation of disused brownfield sites.
The area is depicted as a community interchange, facilitating the development of industry and commercial amenities in the area.
In Electric Future, Jaguar highlights the potential impact of widespread electrification upon established urban spaces. London is greener and makes use of tidal and solar power generation methods to fuel its network of public transport and private vehicles.
Jon Eaglesham, managing director or Barr Gazetas, said the four concepts “should be possible within a generation. As architects, together with authorities national and local, we need to embrace this opportunity now, and bring visions such as these to reality”.
While Jaguar has hinted at its vision for electrification in towns and rural areas, it said it has no plans to contribute towards public infrastructure. It said: “We are in the business of manufacturing vehicles, not developing infrastructure. As a result, however, we are in a privileged position of knowledge and understanding of the automotive market and its movements, development and needs.”
The project also supports Jaguar Land Rover’s broader plans to offer an electrified variant of all models launched from 2020, from a mixture of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Alongside the I-Pace, the car maker offers plug-in hybrid variants of its Range Rover and Range Rover Sport.