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Jaguar I-Pace Update Boosts Range, Still Can't Touch a Tesla

The software change, based in part on lessons learned in racing, gives the electric Jaguar more than 250 miles of range.

© Jaguar   The software change, based in part on lessons learned in racing, gives the electric Jaguar more than 250 miles of range.

By Sebastian Blanco, Car and Driver

  • The Jaguar I-Pace all-electric SUV gets an efficiency boost and about an 8 percent range improvement thanks to new software code.
  • The update affects the way the battery is used, the regenerative brakes, and even the active vanes.
  • The changes have to be done at a dealership, even though over-the-air updates are possible in the EV.

When much of how a car operates is defined by software, changing driving behavior can be as simple as rewriting some code. Jaguar I-Pace owners are getting a real-world lesson in just this fact thanks to a software update that improves the all-electric SUV's range, handling, and regenerative-braking style. Jaguar announced the improvements today and said that they are due to lessons the company learned through its all-electric I-Pace eTROPHY racing series as well as analysis of 50 million real-world miles.

The full battery range for an I-Pace before the upgrade is 234 miles, according to the EPA, although C/Dfound it hard to achieve that distance. Thankfully, as first reported by Electrek, Jaguar is now telling I-Pace owners that the update will improve the EV's overall range by "up to 8 percent" in real-world driving conditions thanks to a higher depth of discharge in the battery and improved cell balancing strategy. An 8 percent improvement would give the I-Pace 19 more miles, for a total of 253 miles from the 90.0-kWh battery pack. As Stephen Boulter, I-Pace vehicle engineering manager, said in a statement, this update is "a case of the vehicle getting better with age."

On the more generous European WLTP cycle test, the I-Pace is rated at 292 miles of range. Jaguar says that the software update will offer an extra 12 miles in the real world, even as the rated number will not change.

© Jaguar   2020 Jaguar I-Pace rear

If even 253 miles from a 90.0-kWh battery doesn't sound all that impressive, that's probably because you've been comparing the Jag with a Tesla. The two companies have different attitudes when it comes to using more of the battery's total capacity. In the Tesla Model X, for example, the battery pack (believed to be about 115 kWh; Tesla no longer publishes its battery capacities) can be good for up to 328 miles in the Long Range model (305 miles in the Performance version). The EPA rates the efficiency of the Long Range Model X at 33 to 43 kWh per 100 miles, compared to 44 kWh per 100 miles in the I-Pace. Some of the variation is due to aerodynamics and the way the powertrain performs, but a lot of the differences in those numbers are due to the amount of the battery each EV uses. The I-Pace's update allows more of the built-in capacity to be used, which obviously increases the range.

Jaguar said the software changes "allow the battery to run to a lower state of charge than previously without affecting drivability, durability, or performance."

The update changes are not all about the battery, though. Through the software update, the powertrain also has an optimized cooling strategy that lets the active vanes remain closed more often, which improves the vehicle's aerodynamics. When the I-Pace is in Eco driving mode, the front/rear torque split has also been "optimized for better efficiency," the company's update notes said. Finally, the regenerative brakes can now kick in at lower speeds than before, and are stronger when the battery has a higher state of charge (i.e., is more fully charged). All of these changes also mean that the car's in-dash range calculation will be more accurate, Jaguar said. 

While the I-Pace is capable of over-the-air updates, the particular batch of changes must be done by a Jaguar dealer. The I-Pace starts at $70,875 in the U.S.

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Autos Magazine: Jaguar I-Pace Update Boosts Range, Still Can't Touch a Tesla
Jaguar I-Pace Update Boosts Range, Still Can't Touch a Tesla
The software change, based in part on lessons learned in racing, gives the electric Jaguar more than 250 miles of range.
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