UK’s largest fleet of electric vehicles to be hosted by Heathrow
UK hub airport Heathrow will boast offering of up to 200 all-electric Jaguar I-PACE vehicles from this summer – a move that will contribute to the forecast fall in nitrogen oxide emissions in the coming years.
The collaborative efforts of Heathrow, Jaguar and travel services company WeKnowGroup have resulted in this landmark deal that will make the extensive, chauffeur-driven fleet of electric vehicles (EVs) in the UK available to passengers for travel to and from London Heathrow.
The deal unites two iconic British brands and a British SME leading the way in EV adoption, whilst improving air quality and supporting the UK economy. Initially the fleet will be made up of 50 I-PACEs available from summer 2018 with the option to add a further 150 cars in the next 12 months. This fleet will support up to 1,000 EV journeys to and from Heathrow each day – saving over eight tonnes of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions each year. To support the service, WeKnowGroup will be installing a dedicated charging hub at Heathrow, which will be the largest in the UK.
Designed and engineered by Jaguar Land Rover in the UK, the all-electric I-PACE is at the forefront of the zero emissions revolution, carrying a state-of-the-art 90kWh Lithium-ion battery and capable of a range of 298 miles.
New research released by economic consultants CEBR revealed the extent of forecasted EV take-up in London over the next decade and its predicted positive impact on air quality, given the contribution of road vehicles to NOx emissions. Following several announcements by car manufacturers, Government and the Mayor of London, the CEBR analysis shows that by 2030 up to 58 per cent of vehicles on London’s roads will be electric. The introduction of the T-Charge for more polluting vehicles in October 2017, the Ultra-Low Emission Zone and falling purchasing costs for electric vehicles are some of the main drivers of this forecasted shift, which could result in the average concentration of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) across the city reducing by as much as 8 per cent.
The move toward electric vehicles
Consumer research run in parallel with this study shows that by 2028, 63 per cent of Londoners will feel comfortable making the switch to an electric vehicle, with falling purchase costs and an expansion of the charging point network likely to fuel widespread adoption. 32 per cent of London-based travellers to Heathrow said they would be fairly or very likely to use electric taxis to access the airport if they were made more available.
Heathrow has one of the largest corporate electric vehicle fleets in the UK, and the highest density of charging infrastructure in Europe, and is taking further action to promote the take-up of EVs in and around the airport. This includes a year-on-year increase in more electric vehicle charging points through a £5m investment, the trial of electric buses for airside passengers and plans for an ultra-low emission zone airside. Heathrow has also signed up to EV100 a global initiative bringing together forward-looking companies committed to accelerating the transition to electric vehicles.
Commenting on the development of the all-electric partnership, Peter Buchanan, CEO, WeKnowGroup, said: “This is a significant step change in our successful, decades-long relationship with Heathrow where we operate arrivals desks in all terminals, to assist thousands of travellers every year. Today’s agreement also extends our deep, long-standing relationship with Jaguar which has allowed us to proudly claim that we run the largest chauffeured executive Jaguar fleet in the UK.”
Providing further details on the fleet, Jeremy Hicks, Jaguar Land Rover UK MD, commented: “What we have created in the Jaguar I-PACE is utterly revolutionary; a desirable, luxurious and state-of-the-art electric vehicle that’s practical for genuine everyday use, including the tough life of an airport luxury chauffeur car.”
“We have had huge interest and positivity from our customers worldwide. We’re also delighted that this endorsement extends to some of the biggest corporations on the planet. Through our partnership with Waymo (formerly Google self-driving car project) and this latest deal with Heathrow and WeKnowGroup, we’re excited to be bringing the electric future to more people than ever before.”