Axial Planetary Gearing
How the electric I-Pace is different from the Model X
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Jag never misses an opportunity to point out the price differential that prevents its I-Pace electric crossover from consideration as a Tesla competitor, but the world is comparing them. Here are five key technical differentiators:
Read our 2019 Jaguar I-Pace Track Drive here, and don’t miss our 734-mile electric-Jag road trip here.
Both use AC electric motors, but Jaguar’s in-house-designed motor (built by Detroit-based American Axle & Manufacturing) utilizes permanent magnets. The rare-earth materials in these magnets makes them cost more, but for a given output, they’re smaller. And by not using some of the electricity to generate a magnetic field, they’re a few precious percentage points more efficient, as well.
Most electric motors are offset from the axles that drive the wheels, connected by bevel gears, but Jaguar’s compact motor is cleverly designed such that the motor output shaft connects to a hollow sun gear concentric with the axles. The ring gear is pressed into the housing, and the differential and axles connect to the planet carrier. The gear reduction is typical of performance EVs (9.04:1). This arrangement saves space, and the planetary gearing gains another scant few efficiency points. Hopefully they’ll soon figure out how to integrate a limited slip or torque vectoring device in there, as well.
The Jag and Tesla battery packs could not be more dissimilar, though the completed battery packs do look similar in size and shape. Tesla uses cylindrical Panasonic batteries with nickel cobalt aluminum oxide (NCA) chemistry, whereas Jaguar uses long, flat LG Chem “pouch” batteries with nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) chemistry. (Fun fact: Tesla uses that chemistry for its stationary energy-storage battery products.)
Battery Health Warranty
Eight years is the industry-standard battery warranty period, but the fine print varies pretty widely. All Teslas since the original 60-kW-hr batteries built before 2015 are covered for “infinite mileage” during that period (the early 60s have a 125,000-mile limit). This only covers defects, however, not loss of total capacity, which is known to degrade over time. Jaguar’s warranty specifies that if your capacity drops below 70 percent of what it was when new within eight years or 100,000 miles, it will service the battery, replacing underperforming modules to restore the pack to at least 70 percent of its new capacity.
Tesla rates the Model X to tow 3,500 pounds with 22-inch wheels, or 5,000 with 20s. Jaguar does not rate any I-Pace to tow at all, and folks wishing to take matters into their own (and Draw-Tite’s) hands will have difficulty finding a spot to bolt an aftermarket hitch to. Jaguar engineers determined that the number of customers who would actually tow with their I-Pace would be so small that it didn’t warrant the effort to engineer the four different global hitch standards. The company will, however, offer accessory rear mounts that bolt in to the tow hook eyelets, like this bike carrier. Note also the roof-rack solution that bolts to holes on the roof rail that are covered by the door frames. Very slick. (Pricing has not yet been announced for either of these accessories.)