Following news that Germany’s major luxury brands are all planning high-end electric cars to take on Tesla Motors’ [NSDQ:TSLA] Model S and upcoming Model X, we now have details on similar plans at Land Rover. The British automaker is rumored to be eying a low-slung, car-like crossover, and if built it’s possible the vehicle could come with an all-electric option to rival not only the Tesla Model X but also an electric crossover from Audi.
Just last year, Land Rover unveiled an all-electric version of its iconic Defender, demonstrating that it has the capability to build a vehicle that can deliver zero emissions while retaining Land Rover’s legendary all-terrain capability. And Tesla has shown that there is a market for high-end electric vehicles, with its Model S outselling vehicles like the Audi A8 and BMW 7-Series in some markets.
According to Autocar, Land Rover is unlikely to launch an electric version of one its existing SUVs as the vehicle will have to feature a shape that’s efficient enough to see it match or come close to the 265-mile driving range of the Tesla Model S. The vehicle would also be expensive, so to offset this it will likely come loaded with luxuries as standard.
While launching such a vehicle would be risky, it may be necessary to not only keep up with rivals but also for preparedness for future emissions regulations. A vehicle with zero emissions will help offset the emissions of Land Rover’s gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles when it comes to fleet averages. Furthermore, in its quest to reduce pollution, China, the world's largest market for high-end vehicles, is introducing new mandates for electric cars. For example, 30 percent of Chinese government vehicles must be powered by alternative energy by 2016.