How does the I-Pace fare in the harsh Russian winter? Let’s test it to find out.
In order to test how far modern electric vehicles are able to lead you away into the harsh reality of the Russian winter from megacities, we traveled from St. Petersburg to Moscow in the new Jaguar I-Pace.
What’s it like to take long trips in this electric car in Russia? Experience joy and sadness during a voyage between the two capitals in the new Jaguar I-Pace.
* *Editor’s note: This test drive comes our way via our fellow scribes over at Motor1.com Russia. It’s translated directly from Russian and we tried our best to leave the original character of the article and its wording intact.
Just recently, our colleague from the Italian edition of Motor1.com, Fabio Gemelli, as part of its regular column “Real Fuel Consumption”, tested the first production electric car from Jaguar on the roads between Rome and Forli.
Under the conditions of the subtropical Mediterranean climate of the upper part of the Apennine Peninsula, the I-Pace crossover showed a power reserve with a fully charged battery close to that stated by the manufacturer (480 km on the passport). Then it turned out that the biggest energy consumption of this SUV is achieved in the mode of movement on the highway. In this case, the trip distance is minimal – only 300 km. Really, buying a new Jaguar I-Pace, we are depriving ourselves of the opportunity to travel in their own car?
In Italy, with its hundreds of charging stations across the country and a very small boot height of 1,170 km (from north to south) and a width of 230 km (from west to east in the middle part) – definitely not. But what about in Russia, where the electric crossover is officially sold from last year?
After all, we have dozens (and not hundreds) of charges, except in large cities, the length of the country from north to south is about 4,000 km, and from west to east is about 10,000 km. Yes, and runs between megacities. And also winter with its fierce frosts … We decided to find out the real possibilities of the Jaguar I-Pace in Russia, having set off on a journey between the two capitals at the most unfavorable time for electric cars. We had to travel a length of almost 700 km from St. Petersburg to Moscow, surrounded by snow-covered forests and fields at sub-zero temperatures.
What are we talking about?
By his styling similar to any other Jaguar, the all-electric I-Pace looks more like a big hatchback than a crossover. The car with a conventional spring independent suspension (in versions S, SE and HSE by default) has a ground clearance of 165 mm, while for a top-end version of First Edition with air suspension (optional for the others), it varies in the range of 90 mm from 114 mm to 204 mm (standard height 154 mm). In terms of dimensions, the I-Pace is comparable to the F-Pace, but with a 5 cm smaller body length, the electric car has a 12 cm larger wheelbase – 3 m. True, in the cabin of the novelty, you really feel a lot of free space only in the front seats. The space for the knees, the space in width and above the head in F-Pace is still more.
But the trunk of an electric car fits from 656 liters (up to 1,453 liters) versus at least 508 liters (up to 1,598 liters) in the F-Pace. Salon I-Pace, as well as its appearance, decorated in the spirit of most modern “Jaguars”. The version of First Edition that we had in the test can boast of optional Perfomance sports seats and white leather trim. Stuffing them stiff, but on a long trip discomfort it does not deliver. But the embrace of the lateral support at the front seats could be not so strong.
How does it drive?
Speaking about how I-Pace is on the move, the first thing I want to do is dispel the myth of the noiselessness of electric cars. Like the models of premium brands with their modern gasoline and diesel engines, often barely audible to the driver and passengers, there is a relative silence in the cabin of our Jaguar, diluted by the sounds of a working audio system, with a faint hum of electric components. At least when driving at speeds up to 60-80 km / h. With further acceleration, the rumble from the tires, as well as the aerodynamic whistles, bring the noise in the cabin to the level of cars with internal combustion engines. If desired, in the intricate menu of the onboard system, you can activate the “voice acting” as in a regular car through the speakers in the cabin. But it bothers after only 15 minutes, causing a desire to return to “almost silence” of electromobile.
The strongest impression that gives I-Pace on the go is an amazing accelerating and dynamics, unwittingly forcing you to think about revising the laws of physics in the light of the arrival of powerful electric vehicles into our lives. Equipped with two electric motors (on the front and rear axles) with a combined power of 400 forces (696 Nm of torque), the Jaguar electric car shoots from zero to 100 km / h in just 4.8 s. From the moment the “gas” pedal is depressed and right up to the intersection of the specified frontier, the car instantly, without any delay, receives an incredible reproaching impulse, that does not fade with increasing speed. It is the same both at the start and at acceleration from 80 km / h, from 160 km / h. Therefore, I-Pace easily gains its maximum of 200 km / h. Remembering this and the need to expend energy wisely, on a long journey all the time you have to restrain yourself so as not to press the pedal harder.
The rest of the I-Pace not only looks, but also feels like an ordinary, but very powerful and fast car. By the way, it’s controlled also as a typical Jaguar, remotely resembling F-Pace. Due to the almost perfect weight distribution on axles close to 50/50 (one electric motor weighing almost 80 kg on each axle and a 650-kilogram traction battery between them) and a low center of gravity, the electric SUV perfectly steers and keeps the road excellent despite the large mass (2133 kg versus 1861 kg of F-Pace). The body rolls are minimal, the growing effort in the sport mode on the sharp and sensitive steering wheel is pleasant and understandable. Air suspension does not smooth out all the irregularities of the road, but gives the car a comfortable gait, while depicting a sports car chassis.
What about efficiency?
In contrast to the previous groups of journalists, who also traveled 700-kilometer route, we traveled from St. Petersburg to Moscow with an overnight stay in the middle of the road near Valdai. This did not allow us to break the record of our colleagues – a little less than 13 hours on the road. But otherwise we experienced the same feelings, emotions, as well as the possibilities of i-pace, both with a slight minus day (from -3 ° C to -5 ° C), and with a slight frost at night (from -6 ° C to -8 WITH). Both days, at the beginning of the journey with a 100% charged I-Pace battery, the power reserve was 289 km.
During the interim stops at fast 50-kilowatt charging station of Shell, which there are four between St. Petersburg and Moscow now (distance between them is 140-170 km), in 1.5 hours we replenished the battery’s energy by 80% twice. That’s enough for about 240 km. If earlier in Russia such stations worked for free, now charging them costs 9 rubles per 1 kW • h. Thus, having spent about 2.5 full charges of the battery (225 kW • h) for the whole trip, we spent a total of 2025 rubles for electricity. That is, the road cost us 1.5 times cheaper than it would have required for fuel for some crossover with an internal combustion engine, which “drank” on average 10 l / 100 km.
However, it is worth noting that the power reserve of any electric vehicle, like the Jaguar I-Pace, depends on a large number of factors. Among them: temperature overboard, air humidity, machine load, driving style, etc. Despite the fact that our electro-crossover will easily compete with any passing sports car, the most economical and reasonable for him on the track is still the pace of movement with a constant speed of 90-110 km / h without sharp acceleration. Adhering to this speed, we overcame the entire route without incident.
Is that on the first day at the entrance to the place of spending the night at the end of a long haul without refueling length of 240 km, having spent the battery almost “zero”, I had to be a little nervous about the fate of our trip. However, as we were assured by representatives of Jaguar, it is impossible to discharge the I-Pace battery completely. He always has up to 20% of the energy needed by the machine to maintain normal battery life and inaccessible to the driver. By reducing the battery charge used for the movement to 10%, the electric car warns the driver to go to the charging station.
And in extreme cases, it goes into the “rescue” mode, turning off multimedia and off heating the cabin for the sake of additional kilometers of the way to the nearest charge. Of course, this did not reach us. But a few kilometers before the overnight stay, the climate control system turned off the heat supply, which, coupled with the cold snap that had begun towards the night, was felt by the decrease in the cabin air temperature and the misted rear and side windows, and with them the panoramic roof. The measures taken by the electronics were enough for everything to work out. We arrived.
Unlike the “Tesla”, the purchase of which you pay extra for horsepower and an extended power reserve, all versions of the I-Pace are equipped with the same power unit (400 hp) and identical traction battery (90 kW • h). That is, the distance of the trip, and the dynamics of the “Jaguar” does not depend on its price. The difference lies only in the finishing materials, as well as in the equipment. By the way, Jaguar adapted its electric car for us: heating of the steering wheel, front seats, windscreen and washer nozzles in the Russian specification are included in the list of standard equipment of the model, and the GLONASS.
Therefore, even in the basic version S from 6,246,000 rubles, the new I-Pace is equipped very well. It has 20-inch wheels, LED headlights, Meridian multimedia with a 10-inch touchscreen, and Luxtec artificial leather upholstery. In SE and HSE versions for 6,711,000 rubles and 7,210,000 rubles, respectively, the finish is made of Grained leather and Windsor, and the following items are added: electric tailgate, other headlights (in HSE – matrix headlights), adaptive cruise control and cameras circular. In our I-Pace First Edition for 7 580 000 rubles, there is also a panoramic roof, air suspension and 4-zone climate control, optional for the rest of the complete sets.
What about competitors? In Russia, I-Pace does not have them yet. At least officially. After all, Tesla Model X is sold at us only by “gray” dealers. Therefore, until Tesla has a network of authorized service centers in our country that solves questions of warranty and other repairs on site without sending the car to Finland, an overpayment of 3.5-5 million rubles for the Model X is unlikely to be reasonable and expedient. Even despite all the “chips” Tesla, as well as the additional claimed almost 100 km of power reserve and more power.
Despite the difficulties and peculiarities of the Russian reality, electric cars slowly but surely still roll into our lives. Today, the number of electric cars registered in our country is about 4,000 units, and the number of charging stations for them is about fifty in each of the two Russian capitals. Yes, and on the track those and others now also occur. We are less wary of advanced technologies and we are increasingly looking towards electromobility. Let them even do this not out of solidarity with the “greens”.
And machines like I-Pace help us with that. Looking like an ordinary Jaguar inside and out, this crossover is great for driving. Even with a reserve of 289 km reduced due to subzero temperatures, I-Pace can take you far enough. It is only necessary to correctly route to fast charging stations.