Jaguar is cashing in on the Markle effect with electric classic cars

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Among the many memorable images of this year’s royal wedding was that of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry leaving Windsor Castle for their reception in a sky-blue Jaguar convertible—she in a high-necked Stella McCartney white gown, he in a dapper tux. A video of the couple leaving their driveway in the car, smiling and waving in the evening light, has been viewed millions of times, making it quite possibly the most valuable free car commercial of the modern era. The same day, Kensington Palace shared that the car was a converted Jaguar E-Type, originally manufactured in 1968, and since converted to electric power.

Now Jaguar is cashing in on the Markle Effect—the duchess’s Midas touch when it comes to product placement. Her power to inspire consumers has been well documented. After she wore the jeans of a little-known denim brand, it was forced to move production to a bigger factory. When she carried a handbag by the Scottish brand Strathberry for her first official post-engagement appearance, The New York Times reported it sold out in 11 minutes.

And so it makes sense that, on Thursday, Jaguar announced plans to offer electric versions of the E-Type—just like the one Markle and her prince drove into the sunset—to the public. Rather reissuing the classic, Jaguar is converting vintage cars to electric power, replacing their engines with lithium-ion battery packs that should be able to travel 170 miles (274 km) before a recharge. (The surgery is apparently reversible, should E-type owners who undergo conversion change their minds.) According to the Daily Mail, an E-Type Concept Zero will go for about £350,000 ($450,000), to be delivered in 2020.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the positive reaction to the Jaguar E-type Zero concept,” said Tim Hannig, director of Jaguar Land Rover Classic, in a press release. “Future-proofing the enjoyment of classic car ownership is a major stepping stone for Jaguar Classic.”

Perhaps Elon Musk should see about getting Markle into a Tesla.