With electric-power getting closer to touching every corner of the automotive industry, it’s no surprise that off-roaders are next. The Jeep EV is coming.
Although the phrase “Jeep EV” may seem incongruous with a brand known far and wide for its 4×4 prowess, turns out electrifying the Jeep brand works quite well. As a member of the parent company Stellantis, Jeep must fall in line with the ambitious net-zero carbon emissions goal set forth in the automakers’ Dare Forward 2030 strategic plan. More than falling in line, Jeep got right to work with their “4xe” lineup, which features plug-in hybrid (PHEV) technology. They started with the flagship Wrangler – and it is currently the best-selling PHEV in America. You can learn more about it here.
Jeep’s take on electrification, 4xe has been applied to the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee, both of which are currently for sale. On a side note, be sure to check out our writeup on EV-related tax credits and how they may apply when purchasing a Jeep 4xe. These variants feature a 17.3-kWh battery pack, that can be charged in two hours, and enable around 20 miles of all-electric cruising. Jeep touts this wee range for its ability to let owners enjoy their off-road adventures in near total quiet, so as to enjoy nature that much more. They also point out the benefits of ample torque – 470 lb-ft – available at low RPMs, allowing for improved rock crawling.
This is just the beginning of Jeep’s stated objective to “become the leading electrified SUV brand in the world.” To accomplish this, they plan to offer a 4xe version of every model in the lineup by 2025 along with four that are all-electric (EV). 2030 is the looming deadline for alignment with the Stellantis Dare Forward strategy, at which point Jeep states that 50% of sales in the US be of the EV variety, while Europe will be at 100%.
Though we won’t see it for sale in North America, the Jeep Avenger EV is slated for release in Europe sometime next year. Positioned under the Renegade, this new SUV is expected to offer a target range of 250 miles. It is a natural next step in the overall Jeep EV plan as the company already sells nothing but electrics in countries like Germany and France.
From here, things really pick up steam – or is it electrons? – with the incoming 2024 Grand Wagoneer 4xe. Like the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee 4xes, this model will look the same as its gas-powered stablemate aside from blue 4xe design cues like the tow hooks and emblem surrounds. And of course, the PHEV treatment that is said to enable 500 miles of overall driving range in Grand Wagoneer trim.
Moving over to 100% electric power, the recently unveiled Wagoneer S is expected to arrive late 2024. Though it will share a nameplate, this model will look nothing like the existing Wagoneer. Currently in concept form, the Wagoneer EV is far swoopier with a bold LED-illuminated front grille and giant rear spoiler hanging over a steeply sloped rear end. Jeep notes the S stands for speed, striking, and sexy. It’s a wild-looking vehicle that was surely appreciated in-person at the recent Detroit Auto Show.
On the spec-front, Wagoneer S – which may see a name change for production – is expected to make 600 horsepower, hit 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, and deliver a 400-mile driving range. If Jeep can deliver something close to what they’ve already hinted at, the Wagoneer S should have no trouble landing on our next list of Best Electric Vehicles.
Around the same time, the Jeep Recon is slated to start showing up in dealer lots. While the Wagoneer S is said to redefine the “art of American premium,” the Recon is clearly the future Wrangler. Upright styling, butch good looks, a tailgate-mounted spare, power-operated top, and removable doors identify this EV as a close cousin to the Wrangler. It will boast off-road friendly approach, breakover, and departure angles as well as the full complement of Jeep’s trail-rated capability. Jeep notes the new Recon will be able to handily traverse the Rubicon trail and drive back to town on a single charge.
In a time of massive automotive changes – even the mighty Dodge HEMI V8 is under the EV gun – the electrification of Jeep seems especially momentous. The automaker is making bold claims with relatively tight deadlines that will be interesting to observe. Fortunately, this Jeep EV push appears to hew close to the iconic off-road brands’ roots, which should keep fans engaged and coming back for more.