Here's What You Should Know About Jeep's EV Transition
The brand known for rugged SUVs is going electric.
When people think of Jeep, they likely conjure up images of big rigs with big tires, capable of devouring rocks and spewing out gravel. They also probably think of big ol’ internal-combustion engines under the hood — but perhaps not for much longer. While Jeep is still dedicated to building capable SUVs and trucks, it has plans to electrify its fleet, so that by 2030 half of its U.S. sales will come from all-electric vehicles (EV).
Jeep has yet to bring a full EV to market, but it offers plug-in hybrid versions of the popular Wrangler and Grand Cherokee models. Distinguished by the 4xe moniker, these PHEVs combine a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with two electric motors and a 17.3-kWh battery. Neither is particularly fuel efficient once the juice runs out, but with a full charge, the Wrangler 4xe nets 22 miles of electric range and 49 MPGe, and the Grand Cherokee 4xe gets 26 miles and 56 MPGe.
Next year, Europe and other markets — but not the U.S. — will receive Jeep’s first fully electric model, the Avenger subcompact crossover. Americans who want an engineless Jeep will have to wait until 2024, when the automaker will release the all-new Recon and Wagoneer S.
The Recon looks like an evolution of the Wrangler, with a slightly more sophisticated design. Like its rugged brother, it promises open-air off-roading with its removable doors and glass as well as locking differentials, skid plates, and trail-rated tires. Jeep hasn’t divulged range estimates but says the electric brute can complete California’s boulder-strewn Rubicon Trail with enough battery power left over to make it to a nearby town for a charge.
We know a few more specs about the upcoming Wagoneer S, and they’re impressive. Jeep claims this 600-hp midsize SUV will have some 400 miles of range and scoot to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds.
Moreover, to support its EVs and PHEVs in the wilderness, Jeep has begun to deploy Level 2 charging stations at popular trailheads and off-roading parks across the country.
Jeep is a tad late to the game with its electrification plans. While it introduced the 4xe models in 2021, Land Rover has offered a plug-in hybrid in the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport since 2018. Rivian has already started delivering its electric RS1 SUV, and GMC isn’t far behind, with Hummer EV SUV production slated to begin early next year. It’s possible the Recon and Wagoneer S will beat the electric Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen to market, but a lot will depend on the currently strained supply chain.