Tata Motors' Jaguar is spearheading a campaign for the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and Oxford Dictionaries (OxfordDictionaries.com) to change their official online definitions of the word 'car'.

The automaker said its all-electric I-Pace, strictly speaking, isn't defined as a car.

The OED, the principal historical dictionary of the English language, defines a 'car' in its online dictionary as: 'a road vehicle powered by a motor (usually an internal combustion engine) designed to carry a driver and a small number of passengers, and usually having two front and two rear wheels, esp. for private, commercial, or leisure use.' 

Whereas the current definition of a 'car' on Oxford Dictionaries.com, a collection of dictionary websites produced by Oxford University Press (OUP), the publishing house of the University of Oxford, is: 'A road vehicle, typically with four wheels, powered by an internal combustion engine and able to carry a small number of people.'

To remedy the situation, Jaguar has submitted a formal application to the OED and OxfordDictionaries.com to have the definitions updated to include additional powertrains, including electric vehicles (EV).

David Browne, head of Jaguar Land Rover's naming committee, said "A lot of time and thought is put into the name of any new vehicle or technology to ensure it is consumer friendly, so it's surprising to see that the definition of the car is a little outdated. We are therefore inviting the Oxford English Dictionary and the Oxford Dictionaries to update its online classification to reflect the shift from traditional internal combustion engines towards more sustainable powertrains."

The Oxford English Dictionary is widely regarded as the accepted authority on the English language. It is an unsurpassed guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of 600,000 words - past and present - from across the English-speaking world.

The dictionaries are reviewing the application.

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