Continental electronics-laden Jaguar i-Pace launched in India at Rs 1.05 crore

by Mayank Dhingra 23 Mar 2021


Jaguar Land Rover, which recently announced its intent to go all-electric by as early as 2025, today introduced the Jaguar i-Pace electric crossover in India. Launched at a price-tag of Rs 1.05 crore, ex-showroom, India, the i-Pace is only the second electric luxury SUV currently on sale in the country after the Mercedes-Benz EQC.

The i-Pace, the electrified version of the company’s F-Pace crossover, comes powered by a 90kWh lithium-ion battery pack that drives two electric motors delivering a combined 394bhp and 696Nm through an all-wheel drive system. Jaguar claims that it can accelerate from zero to 100kph in 4.8 seconds. The crossover a WLTP-certified range of 470km on a single charge. 

The drivetrain fundamentals on the i-Pace also include high-power electronics including controllers and a DC-AC inverter that is supplied by German Tier-I supplier Continental.The power electronics module is claimed to have a high current-bearing capacity of up to 650 Ampere.

How do the power electronics work?
According to Continental, the power electronics is a key component of hybrid and all-electric powertrains. It supplies power to the electric motor, while also controlling the process of energy recuperation. So, in terms of function, it acts as an interface between the high-voltage battery and the electric motor. Since the battery supplies DC power, and the motor runs on three-phase AC power, the power electronics must first convert the DC power using an inverter, before supplying it at the required current and frequency to the motor. It is these two electrical parameters that control the operation of the motor.

In recuperation mode, the power electronics converts the AC current produced by the electric motor into DC current, which is then used to charge the battery. It is the power electronics which determine whether the full potential of the electric powertrain can be realized. In other words, the power electronics is key to maximizing the driving enjoyment associated with the high low-end torque and instant response that form an inherent feature of electric motors.

Continental says that the role of power electronics is of strategic important in a performance-oriented EV such as the Jaguar i-Pace. The company is engaged in the development of such systems for a long time and is now offering the third generation of its power electronics in the i-Pace. It has closely worked with Jaguar Land Rover to maximise the potential of the current-generation system, while relying a strong focus on performance.

The Jaguar i-Pace is also equipped with Software-over-the-Air (SOTA) functionality. This means thesystems, including infotainment, battery management and charging can be updated remotely. Using the vehicle’s built-in data connection, the latest software can be downloaded automatically.

Hi-tech and modular
Continental also says that the power electronics must be capable of supplying maximum current within fractions of a second, for instance, when accelerating at full throttle from standstill. The special challenge for the development team was to accommodate such very high load changes while at the same time meeting the requirements expected of automotive systems in terms of long cycle life and service life.

A further development goal was a high power-to-size ratio, to shrink space requirements to a minimum. That it was possible to achieve such acombination of performance, long life and compact dimensions is largely down to the innovative IGBT (insulated gate bipolar transistor) power modules which are a key component of the inverter. Sintered bonds on both sides of the chip meet much higher demands in terms of service life, reliability, and thermal tolerance than conventional solder bonds, making this a solution particularly suited to the premium segment. Continental is the first company to use this sophisticated technology in an automotive electronics application.

There is also use of special direct-copper bonded substrates along with the power semiconductors to make the overall power electronics architecture optimised for maximum power and performance. Another unique characteristic of this newly developed power electronics technology is that it is modular and can be implemented in different types of vehicles. The company says that the power electronics in the Range Rover Plug-in Hybrid as well as the Jaguar i-Pace are completely identical in terms of hardware – with the only differences lying in the software.

Jaguar Land Rover which has a heightened focus on sustainability and targets transition towards electric mobility, nameplate by nameplate for all its brands by 2030, is working in the background with Continental for application of the power electronics solutions across the entire future EV line-up of the two British marque brands.

i-Pace high on convenience
The i-Pace features the latest and more driver-focused technology and is the first Jaguar in India to receive the Pivi Pro Infotainment System. The 12.3-inch HD instrument cluster features completely revised graphics to give an even clearer indication of battery state of charge.

The crossover is available with wireless device charging pad beneath the ‘floating’ centre console. Wireless charging also includes signal boosting, ensuring the phone’s signal remains strong for longer. A smartphone pack with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is available, as is Bluetooth technology, which can pair two phones simultaneously.

Inside the cabin, the ClearSight rearview  mirror improves vision and convenience by ensuring the driver always has an unobstructed view of the road behind even with three people in the rear seat. It uses a wide-angle, rear-facing camera linked to a high-resolution screen within the frameless glass mirror. A small toggle switch on the mirror allows the driver to switch seamlessly between the view from the standard mirror and the camera feed.

Jaguar India preps up
Ahead of the i-Pace’s launch, Jaguar Land Rover India announced that it was gearing up to support the i-Pace in terms of charging infrastructure at its dealerships. The company has put in efforts to supplement the EV by readying fast-chargers at its retail outlets and workshops in metros and key hubs across India.

Twenty-two retail outlets across 19 cities are now EV-ready in terms of infrastructure as well as sales and service staff, the company said in a press statement on March 3. These chargers are a combination of 7.4 kW AC chargers and 25 kW DC (fast) chargers. Retailer staff have been extensively trained with in-depth and dedicated courses on EVs, thus enabling them to cater to all requirements and queries of customers.

Retail staffers have been extensively trained by JLR with in-depth and dedicated courses on EVs, thus, enabling them to cater to all requirements and customer queries.Furthermore, the company has installed over 35 DC fast chargers at these outlets, with plans to increase their numbers. In addition, JLR customers will also be able to charge the Jaguar I-Pace using Tata Power’s EZ Charge Network which has over 200 DC fast charging points installed at strategic locations such as malls, offices, residential complexes, and highways, across the country.

Jaguar Land Rover India is offering the i-Pace with a complementary five-year service package, five-year roadside assistance package, 8 years or 160,000km battery warranty and a 7.4kW AC wall-mounted charger installed at customer’s premises.

According to Rohit Suri, president and managing director, Jaguar Land Rover India, “The Jaguar i-Pace is the first all-electric SUV that we’ve launched in India and it marks the beginning of our electrification journey. With our electrified products we look forward to playing a significant role in India’s electrification drive into the future. Jaguar I-PACE will appeal to people who look for and purchase the latest in technology and design, to express their personalities and stay ahead of the curve. We and our retailer network are fully prepared to cater to the demands of these customers.”