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Jaguar to offer chauffeur-driven I-Paces at Heathrow Airport

The British carmaker is partnering with WeKnowGroup to offer a fleet of EVs for fancy, yet environmentally-conscious passengers.

Picture this: You've just flown into Heathrow airport, it's cold and rainy (because, duh, England) and you've got to get to your hotel. You could hail a black cab, or try public transit if you're a pleb, but the rest of us sophisticates will be getting chauffeured to and fro in one of 200 sweet new Jaguar I-Paces, thanks to a partnership between WeKnowGroup and Jaguar.

Yeah, that's right, electric chauffeur cars. Sounds good, right? But what about mileage and downtime and depreciation on all those sweet Jags? It turns out that none of those are problems, according to Jaguar. See, the I-Pace has a range of 298 miles (quoted) on a single charge, and this comfortably exceeds the daily mileage that a typical chauffeur-driven car will do.

With its silent operation, roomy interior and low maintenance needs, the I-Pace is a near-perfect chauffeur car.

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"What we have created in the Jaguar I-Pace is utterly revolutionary; a desirable, luxurious and state-of-the-art electric vehicle that's practical for genuine everyday use, including the tough life of an airport luxury chauffeur car," said Jeremy Hicks, managing director of Jaguar Land Rover UK. "We have had huge interest and positivity from our customers worldwide. We're also delighted that this endorsement extends to some of the biggest corporations on the planet. Through our partnership with Waymo (formerly the Google self-driving car project) and this latest deal with Heathrow and WeKnowGroup, we're excited to be bringing the electric future to more people than ever before."

Concerning downtime from maintenance, it should be less than a comparable internal combustion-powered car since EVs have fewer moving parts and generally require less service. Depreciation is always a bugbear for fleets, but according to Jag, the I-Pace has "best-in-class residual values" though it's not like fully electric SUVs are a huge class of vehicles.

The I-Pace's interior should prove a nice place to be for drivers and passengers alike, boasting plenty of luggage space and seating for four passengers.

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"We are thrilled to be working with two British companies on this landmark initiative to support more sustainable transportation choices for our passengers," said Emma Gilthorpe, executive director at Heathrow airport. "Our commitments to the environment and our local community are absolutely non-negotiable -- we are determined to address the impact road vehicles have on our neighbors and to improve air quality on our roads. These Jaguar I-Paces are the latest in a long line of initiatives we are taking to ensure that expansion is not a choice between the economy and the environment and that we can deliver benefits for both."

One of the more appealing things about the I-Pace for a use case like this is that London has mandated that all private hire vehicles have to be "zero-emissions-capable" by 2020. The I-Pace handily meets that requirement now. For passengers, the I-Pace offers tons of USB ports to charge devices and four-zone climate control along with copious amounts of luggage space.

The Jaguar I-Pace is set to arrive in the United States later in 2018 with a starting price around $70,000.