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JAGUAR CHARGES UP

Jaguar, in part­ner­ship with elec­tric ve­hi­cle charg­ing au­thor­ity GridCars, has laid the foun­da­tion for the fu­ture of elec­tric and plug-in hy­brid ve­hi­cles in SA with 82 new pub­lic charg­ing sta­tions in the coun­try’s ma­jor hubs and along fre­quently-trav­elled hol­i­day routes.

The R30m in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment will make day-to­day travel, as well as longer day trips and even very long jour­neys pos­si­ble for own­ers of elec­tric ve­hi­cles, such as the new Jaguar I-Pace elec­tric SUV to be launched here early next year.

With a claimed range of up to 470km depend­ing on driv­ing style and con­di­tions on a sin­gle charge, Jaguar says the I-Pace will com­fort­ably fit into most drivers’ lifestyles, whether it’s com­mut­ing to and from work on a daily ba­sis, or trav­el­ling the long dis­tances re­quired for in­ter­city hol­i­day des­ti­na­tions.

In ad­di­tion to the pub­licly avail­able charg­ing sta­tions to be in­stalled in cus­tomer park­ing ar­eas at ev­ery Jaguar Land Rover re­tailer in SA, 30 pub­lic charg­ing sta­tions will be erected at var­i­ous points of con­ve­nience, such as shop­ping cen­tres, in the coun­try’s ma­jor hubs in­clud­ing Jo­han­nes­burg, Pre­to­ria, Dur­ban, Cape Town, Port El­iz­a­beth, East Lon­don and Bloem­fontein.

SA’s city cen­tres will now also be con­nected by the Jaguar Pow­er­way — a series of 22 charg­ing sta­tions along the N3 be­tween Gaut­eng and Dur­ban and the N1 be­tween Gaut­eng and Cape Town. Cape Town will also be con­nected to the Gar­den Route with a series of charg­ing sta­tions along the N2 all the way to East Lon­don.

Richard Gou­verneur, MD of Jaguar Land Rover South Africa and sub-Sa­hara Africa, said: “The launch of the Jaguar Pow­er­way demon­strates our com­mit­ment to elec­tri­fi­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy and the fu­ture of mo­bil­ity in our mar­ket. This new net­work pro­vides peace of mind to our Jaguar I-Pace cus­tomers who can now ex­pe­ri­ence more of their world with less range re­stric­tions.”

The ma­jor­ity of charg­ing sta­tions will be 60kWh fast charg­ers, mean­ing 100km of range will take 20 min­utes. A charge from 0 to 80% will take about 72 min­utes.

Ev­ery charg­ing sta­tion will also be equipped with a 22kWh AC fast charger to ac­com­mo­date plug-in hy­brid ve­hi­cles (PHEVs). The AC stan­dard Type 2 socket will al­low charg­ing of all elec­tric ve­hi­cles (EVs) cur­rently avail­able in SA.

Jaguar Land Rover own­ers will use an RFID card to ac­ti­vate the charg­ing sta­tion and man­age elec­tric­ity billing to the card. Cards can be cred­ited with sim­ple EFT pay­ments, much like cell­phone air­time top-ups. Charg­ing sta­tion elec­tric­ity rates will also be dis­counted by 25% for all Jaguar Land Rover EV or PHEV own­ers.

Like petrol, the price of elec­tric­ity fluc­tu­ates, but for now the rate for 1kWh on the card will be be­tween R3 and R3.50 depend­ing where it’s re­deemed. With a 90kWh bat­tery, a full recharge in an I-Pace will cost be­tween R270 and R315 — much lower than fu­elling up a con­ven­tional petrol or diesel car.

The en­tire Jaguar charg­ing grid and Pow­er­way is ex­pected to be op­er­a­tional by the end of Novem­ber 2018.

SELF-PI­LOT­ING MO­TOR­CY­CLE ON SHOW

BMW Mo­tor­rad has built a self-rid­ing pro­to­type of its best­selling GS 1200.

Pre­sented at last week’s BMW Mo­tor­rad Tech­day at the BMW Group test­ing ground in Mi­ra­mas, south­ern France, the mo­tor­cy­cle in­de­pen­dently rides off, ac­cel­er­ates, cir­cles a wind­ing test track and in­de­pen­dently slows down to a stop (check out the video on www.busi­nesslive.co.za).

What pos­si­ble use could there be for an au­ton­o­mous mo­tor­cy­cle, you ask? Doesn’t it counter the whole joy-of-rid­ing vibe of two-wheel­ers in the best Easy Rider tra­di­tion?

Fear not, says BMW Mo­tor­rad, which reck­ons it is by no means aim­ing for an in­de­pen­dent mo­tor­bike.

“Rather, the un­der­ly­ing tech­nol­ogy should serve as a plat­form for devel­op­ment of fu­ture sys­tems and func­tions to make mo­tor­cy­cling even safer, more com­fort­able and in­crease the rid­ing plea­sure,” says a com­pany spokesper­son.

The aim of the pro­to­type is to test how mo­tor­cy­cle safety sys­tems can be im­proved to de­tect dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tions and po­ten­tially help the rider to avoid ac­ci­dents.

Like the driver aids of semi­au­tonomous cars, the bike could em­ploy steer­ing and brak­ing in­ter­ven­tions, while turn­ing at in­ter­sec­tions or when brak­ing sud­denly, for ex­am­ple.

For max­i­mum ef­fec­tive­ness these on­board safety sys­tems would em­ploy V2X (ve­hi­cleto-ev­ery­thing) tech­nol­ogy that would give the mo­tor­cy­cle dig­i­tal “eyes” on its sur­round­ings. In a fu­ture all­con­nected V2X world the vi­sion is for all road users — mo­torised ve­hi­cles, cy­clists and pedes­tri­ans — to com­mu­ni­cate with one an­other through dig­i­tal net­work­ing and thus be able to de­tect, and hope­fully avoid, each other.

POW­ERED-UP X3 AND X4

BMW has con­firmed that a hot M Divi­sion vari­ant of its X3 SUV is in the pipe­line. Seen as a di­rect ri­val to the Porsche Ma­can Turbo, the X3 M will be joined by an M ver­sion of its sportier-look­ing cousin, the X4.

Power will come from a six-cylin­der twin-tur­bocharged 3l en­gine and four-wheel drive, and as the man­u­fac­turer has re­leased teaser images of the slightly cam­ou­flaged new mod­els, we al­ready have a good idea of how they will look.

Al­though the X-range is rapidly ex­pand­ing and is al­ready fairly siz­able, the per­for­mance vari­ant of the X3 will rep­re­sent the first time BMW has pro­duced a mid-sized SUV of this type. The teaser images re­veal a fairly ag­gres­sive look, with sporty-look­ing bumpers, ex­tended side skirts and a size­able rear spoiler.

No out­put fig­ures are quoted but ex­pect the Mpow­ered X3 and X4 to have sim­i­lar mus­cle to the 317kW M3 and M4. That power will be har­nessed by an eight-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion and the se­lectable xDrive all-wheel drive sys­tem first in­tro­duced with the M5 sedan.

Per­haps sur­pris­ingly in the cur­rent cli­mate, it’s be­lieved a new diesel-pow­ered M Per­for­mance X3 is un­der con­sid­er­a­tion too. If that one does make it to the pro­duc­tion line, not a cer­tainty at this point, it would prob­a­bly be pow­ered by the 3.0l V6 tri-tur­bod­iesel cur­rently found in the M50d.

THE MA­JOR­ITY OF CHARG­ING STA­TIONS WILL BE 60KWH FAST CHARG­ERS — 100KM OF RANGE WILL TAKE 20 MIN­UTES

Jaguar is set­ting up a fast-charg­ing net­work in SA in prepa­ra­tion for the launch of its I-PACE elec­tric SUV next year, top and right.

A self-rid­ing mo­tor­cy­cle goes against the whole Easy Rider spirit, but BMW says au­ton­o­mous fea­tures will make bik­ing safer.

M ver­sions of BMW X4 and X3 will take on Porsche’s Ma­can Turbo.

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