Signs are seen outside the Jaguar Land Rover plant at Halewood in Liverpool, northern England, September 12 , 2016. REUTERS/Phil Noble

Signs are seen outside the Jaguar Land Rover plant at Halewood in Liverpool, northern England, September 12 , 2016. REUTERS/Phil Noble (Copyright Reuters 2016)

Jaguar Land Rover says half of its new cars will have electric option by 2020

Features Reuters

Half of all new Jaguar Land Rover vehicles will be available in an electric version by the end of the decade, Britain's biggest carmaker said on Wednesday, after showcasing its first electric car this week.

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The automaker, owned by India's Tata Motors , unveiled the all-electric Jaguar I-PACE Concept SUV at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The model is due to hit the streets by 2018, in a sign of how car manufacturers are seeking to tap growing demand for more environmentally-friendly vehicles.

"We are shaping the future, developing our own approach to autonomy, connectivity and electrification to offer our customers more choice," said Chief Executive Ralf Speth.

Last year, Jaguar Land Rover said it would double the size of its powertrain engineering center in central England to support the development of more low-emission vehicles, the fastest growing market for new cars in Britain.

Speth told Reuters in September that it would make sense for the firm to build both electric batteries and vehicles in Britain.

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The company said cleaner diesel and petrol engines and plug-in hybrid vehicles were also part of its plans.

(Reporting by Costas Pitas; Editing by Mark Potter)