Land Rover has described its new plug-in hybrid Evoque and Discovery Sport models as “transformational” for the brand, with the Evoque in particular likely to pique company car interest as its 41-mile official range figure puts it in the 6% BiK band for this tax year.
Order books are open now for the two models ahead of a planned Q3 commencement of deliveries, subject to the length of the coronavirus restrictions staying in place.
The Evoque, in the lower S and S Dynamic trim levels, gets into the 6% band for vehicles with an official EV-only range of 40 miles or over, something very few vehicles manage. Higher Evoque trim levels with larger wheels move up to the 10% banding that the Discovery Sport, with its official range figure of up to 38 miles, also sits in.
The new models combine a 200hp 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine with a 109hp electric motor, powered by a 15kWh lithium-ion battery located beneath the rear seats. The Evoque P300e has a lowest emissions figure of 32g/km and a 0-62mph acceleration time of 6.1 seconds, 4g/km and 0.1 seconds better than its Discovery Sport P300e sibling.
“PHEVs will definitely increase the relevance and appeal of Land Rover to new and existing customers,” Jaguar Land Rover’s general manager, fleet and business, Andrew Jago, told Company Car Today. “It’s quite transformational for us and will open doors with fleets that we have not traditionally been on.”
Jago predicted that the PHEV models would account for at least half of corporate sales for the two models, and in doing so would equalise the fleet and retail mix for the pair, which currently sits at 40% fleet.
“Land Rover hasn’t traditionally featured highly on a number of fleet policies and this powertrain change takes us to the heart of the premium user-chooser segment,” Jago continued. “The Jaguar I-Pace has been transformational on the Jaguar side in opening doors to newer fleet customers, and the Land Rover product carries us in at a lower price point to access lower bands and sales we wouldn’t otherwise have had.”
He said JLR has already discussed the new models under non-disclosure agreements with current and potential customers, and is “confident we will be hitting those fleets hot and into bands we haven’t before, with products that people want.”
He also predicted that the PHEVs could lead to cash-for-car opt-out drivers pushing to return to the fleet fold. “I can see drives going to fleet managers and asking to come back into a company car,” he said.