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PRETORIA - Jaguar has announced that its I-Pace has shrugged off the steep inclines, twisting tarmac and near freezing temperatures of the UK’s highest paved road to successfully ‘Everest’ at Great Dun Fell, in Cumbria, on a single charge of its 90kWh battery. The South African Car of the Year-winning all-electric performance SUV model was driven by Olympic and World champion cyclist, Elinor Barker (MBE).
The concept of Everesting is simple, yet extreme: complete a series of runs up an incline until achieving an elevation gain of 8848m – equal to an ascent of Mount Everest. The popularity of this endurance challenge boomed among cyclists during the pandemic.
Known by cyclists as ‘Britain’s Mont Ventoux’ – a reference to the daunting Alpine mountain stage in the Tour de France – Great Dun Fell is home to the highest surfaced road in the UK. The narrow ribbon of asphalt is defined by a series of sweeping bends and gradients of up to 20 percent as it climbs 547 metres from the start point used for the challenge to a peak of 848 metres.
HOW IT WORKED
Barker completed 16.2 repeats of the 5.8km climb (a 11.6km loop in total) using the I-Pace’s regenerative braking technology to generate approximately 60 percent of additional available energy over the total 16 descents. Having covered 99.6km in total, including a 12.9km drive to the start point on the fell, the I-Pace completed its energy intensive challenge with 31 percent battery charge remaining – enough to drive for up to 128.7km more.
WHY IT WORKED
Key to the efficient completion of the Everesting challenge was the I-Pace’s regenerative braking system. Developed using technology from Jaguar Racing’s Formula E programme, ‘regen’ is a critical enabler for success on the track. In an average race the I-Type 5 generates around 30 percent of additional energy from regen, without it the car simply wouldn’t make it to the chequered flag.
“I watched with fascination as cyclists took up the Everesting challenge during lock down – even as a professional rider, it’s a daunting feat of endurance, so I was happy to do it behind the wheel of the all-electric Jaguar I-Pace,” says Barker.
“When I found out that Jaguar Racing drivers typically need to regenerate 30 percent of their I-Type's battery capacity in a Formula E race, as a competitor I naturally wanted to beat that figure! I’m delighted to have smashed that target – all while enjoying the comfort, silent power delivery and single-pedal driving of the I-Pace.”
Barker was supported throughout the drive by members of the Jaguar Racing and I-Pace engineering teams, on hand to monitor the vehicle’s performance.
Jack Lambert, Jaguar Racing Engineer, says: “The advanced regenerative braking system developed for the I-Pace is a defining feature of the driving experience. Lessons learned through our Formula E programme on the track ensure I-Pace customers enjoy benefits on the road in terms of optimised range. The regenerative braking also provides up to 0.4g of deceleration so Elinor would only have been using the conventional friction brakes at two or three points on each run.”
KEY I-PACE TECHNOLOGIES
In preparation for the challenge, the I-Pace was pre-conditioned using the Jaguar Remote App. While the vehicle is plugged in, pre-conditioning automatically heats or cools the battery to reach its ideal operating temperature and establishes the desired cabin temperature –using mains power. Using the grid to do this instead of drawing current from the vehicle battery optimises the vehicle’s driving range – especially in cold weather.
Another feature that enhances the latest I-Pace’s efficiency is Smart Climate, which uses the seatbelt sensors to determine how many occupants are travelling inside, and only heating or cooling the relevant areas of the cabin, maintaining comfort while minimising energy use.
In terms of performance and efficiency, the Jaguar I-Pace is able to sprint from 0-100km/h in 4.8 seconds. It can also cover up to 470km on a single charge according to WLTP standards. In terms of charging, in 20 minutes, using a 60kW DC or 100kW DC charger, you can add up to 100km and 127km of range respectively.
We’ll be putting the latest 2021 Jaguar I-Pace through it’s paces next month so be sure to follow us @IOLMOTORING on social media to see if we can hit these figures in our test cycle.
WATCH the Jaguar I-Pace take on the “Everesting” Challenge: