Prince Charles takes delivery of the Royal Family's first electric car
He’s already got a car which runs on disused wine – now Prince Charles will complete another royal first by taking delivery of the Royal Family’s first all-electric car.
The Prince of Wales, who has voiced his concerns about the environment for decades, will ditch his current Jaguar which runs on conventional fuel and will now use the electric model for all his official duties in London.
And if he fancied a walk in the Lake District, his new car could almost get him to Penrith in Cumbria on a single charge.
The very first Jaguar I-Paces are also being delivered to customers across the UK from Wednesday.
A fast charging point will be installed shortly at Clarence House, the Prince’s official London home.
In the meantime, a quick search shows that there are a dozen or so charging points with a couple of minutes from Clarence House or Buckingham Palace.
Jaguar Land Rover, which makes the car in Austria, says the I-Pace’s new batteries give much greater reliability and flexibility.
The 90kWh batteries have a top range of 292 miles which means that, in theory, the Prince could get from Clarence House to his residence at Highgrove in Gloucestershire, and back, on a single charge.
If he wanted to go further than the top range, Jaguar says the car can take a rapid charge in 15 minutes and add an extra 60 miles to a journey.
That means, he could drive from London to Dumfries in Scotland with one stopover at a motorway service station (unlikely, I know).
However, for the time being, the Prince' office says this new car will only be used for trips in the capital.
A full charge will cost the Royal Household less than £10 – which is significantly cheaper than the equivalent charge of £60 in a petrol car.
Should the Prince’s security team need to make a quick exit for whatever reason, Jaguar claims the I-Pace can accelerate from 0-60mph in under five seconds.
But with a starting price of around £63,000, it’s not a car for those on a modest budget – and nor will it suit those who need to be able to completely long distances regularly.
However, it does suggest we may be nearing a tipping point in the transition from combustion engines to electric ones.
The UK Government has pledged to ban the sale of all petrol and diesel cars from 2040.
The Prince has ordered his car in Loire Blue – a colour available on other Jaguar models – but not currently on the I-Pace, which makes his royal I-Pace somewhat unique.
The Prince has previously converted the Aston Martin he was given for his 21st birthday to run on disused wine.
And the love for eco-friendlier cars runs in the family.
Charles’ father Prince Philip drove one of the first prototype electric vehicles in the 1970s and more recently he had a London cab which ran on liquid petroleum gas.