Jeep has been teasing for some time that an all-electric version of its iconic off-roader, the Wrangler, is on the way; and it recently shared information about where and when such a model will debut.
The brand said on its “The Road Ahead” page that it will reveal a 100% battery powered Wrangler BEV concept as part of a group of concepts to be revealed March 27 at the Easter Jeep Safari, at Moab, Utah.
2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe
Jeep wouldn’t be revealing the concept at Moab, a haven for the most dedicated off-roaders, if it weren’t capable of some level of rock-crawling. Last year its global president, Christian Meunier, hinted that the electric version might be even more capable.
Now, Meunier can put more behind that, in terms of what it means for the brand.
"'The Road Ahead" illustrates how we are proudly building on our rich heritage as we commit to making Jeep the greenest SUV brand," he said in a statement provided to Green Car Reports. "All Jeep models will carry an electrified option in the next few years and will take green and 4x4 technology to the next level. We look forward to sharing more information on this Jeep Wrangler BEV concept at the annual Moab Easter Jeep Safari."
An odd point to emphasize based on this schematic is that it appears Jeep didn’t opt to place stout drive motors at both axles. The electric Wrangler appears to still rely on a series of transmissions or gearboxes to deliver power to the front and rear wheels individually. It also appears to use a multi-pack battery strategy—for packaging, perhaps. Simply put, there’s no way Jeep could have built what the Wrangler currently is and is capable of over a skateboard platform.
Teaser for battery-electric Jeep Wrangler concept
Also, based on the propulsion architecture shown, Jeep is demonstrating how it doesn’t need a long wheelbase to fit enough battery cells for a usable long-range electric vehicle. It appears to be installed in a standard two-door Wrangler—although we just might have to wait until March 27 to see how the rest of the vehicle looks.
The brand already has a plug-in model—the 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid, which offers a 17.3-kwh battery pack and primary propulsion motor to the 2.0-liter turbo-4 engine. That model allows up to 25 miles all-electric.
2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe
Jeep already has big plans to electrify off-roading with the Wrangler 4xe. It announced last year that it plans to build solar-powered chargers on some of its most popular off-road trails, so as to allow owners of the Wrangler 4xe—and perhaps the electric Wrangler—to experience quiet, all-electric off-roading.