King Charles' electric I-Pace goes to auction next month

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Never mind the Bentley State Limousines, the Aston Martin DB6 Volante that Queen Elizabeth II bought him on his 21st birthday, or the Rolls-Royce Phantom VI valued at more than $600,000.

The car of the moment, if we’re talking about the garage of King Charles III of England, is a far more ordinary — and all-electric — Jaguar I-Pace purchased in 2018 by His Majesty “for his personal use.” The royal Jag is set to be auctioned off March 2 at the famed Ascot Racecourse; estimated selling price is as high as $88,000. If you miss out on the auction of a president’s former ride, here’s one from a king.

The SUV, notable as the first all-electric vehicle to be embraced by the royal family, is the range-topping I-Pace EV400 HSE all-wheel-drive luxury five-seater that the king — prince of Wales at the time — bought in September 2018 for $75,000. According to the auction site, the Jag was “purchased with his own money.”

Charles had Jaguar install a fast charger at Clarence House, his residence. The vehicle was returned to a Jaguar dealership after two years — it’s not clear if it had been leased — with only 3,000 miles on the clock.

Subsequently, the SUV was sold to one Karen French of Oxfordshire. She said in a statement offered by Historics Auctioneers, “This I-Pace was exactly what I was looking for and pretty much on my doorstep. It was only when I agreed to buy it that I discovered its extraordinary history — I was absolutely thrilled. Having driven it over 30,000 miles,” she added, ”I decided in the New Year that it was time for a change.”

Noted by the auctioneers in typical British understatement, the high-specification car was uniquely finished in Loire Blue and remains the only I-Pace “to be painted in this colour, whilst those inside the car enjoyed a sumptuous, contrasting leather interior in, fittingly, Light Oyster Windsor.”

A revised Jaguar I-Pace is scheduled to arrive next year.

Regarding the King’s affection for automobiles — British automobiles — he reportedly overseas a fleet worth more than $17 million. And while he’s fond of driving conventional vehicles, he told the BBC some years ago that “my old Aston Martin, which I’ve had for 51 years, runs on — can you believe this — surplus English white wine, and whey from the cheese process.” Essentially the classic had been converted to run on E85 bio-ethanol.

“The engineers at Aston said, ‘Oh, it’ll ruin the whole thing,'” Charles shared with The Telegraph in 2018. But he wasn’t taking no for an answer. “I said, ‘Well, I won’t drive it then,’ so they got on with it, and now they admit that it runs better and is more powerful on that fuel than it is on petrol.”

Charles at the time also noted one more spectacular side effect of the conversion: ”It smells delicious as you’re driving along.”

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