Wrangler EV: Jeep Confirms Plans for an All-Electric Off-Roader
The Jeep Wrangler has long set the standard for off-road performance, but there’s change on the horizon for the trusty 4×4. According to Jeep, an EV version of the Wrangler is coming in the years ahead.
Is Jeep making an EV Wrangler?
Jeep revealed that it still plans to create an EV version of the Wrangler 4×4.
According to AutoExpress, Jeep CEO Christian Meunier made statements clarifying the brand’s intentions for an all-electric Wrangler.
“The great thing about electrification is that it makes a Jeep more capable,” said Meunier. “It gives us more torque; it makes it smoother and more precise.
“Then the architecture around it, the suspension system, the axle you’re going to use, can be anything – a solid axle or independent suspension.”
Meunier explains that the intention for shifting the Wrangler to an EV is to further maximize its off-road capabilities. The packaging flexibility of an electric platform would allow Jeep to explore new options for all-terrain handling and performance.
It does mean, however, that Jeep could fundamentally change the architecture of its vaunted 4×4. The Wrangler has always remained consistent with its body-on-frame design featuring solid axles and mechanical four-wheel drive. As Meunier hints, an EV Wrangler could switch to independent suspension with individual electric motors at each wheel. Such details aren’t confirmed, however.
It won’t be the first EV off-road SUV
Rolling out an EV Wrangler will be a massive shift for the Jeep brand – but it won’t be the first time the industry has seen an all-electric off-roader.
Other manufacturers are already releasing EVs with off-road performance. Most notable among them is the Rivian R1S, which the brand bills as a dedicated off-road SUV with full-electric performance.
The difference with the EV Wrangler is that it will be the first time that the industry’s benchmark for 4×4 performance depends on electric power alone.
Is the Wrangler 4xe an EV?
No, the Wrangler 4xe is not an EV. Though it does use an electric motor to assist its conventional gas engine.
The Wrangler 4xe is Jeep’s first step in electrifying its famous off-roader with plug-in hybrid technology. So far, it’s been a resounding success. Meunier said that nearly 38 percent of Wrangler sold in a single quarter last year were 4xe plug-in hybrid models.
It’s no shock that the PHEV Wrangler is popular. Combining electric and gasoline power means the Wrangler 4xe gets great power while considerably boosting efficiency. Plus, it offers a limited all-electric driving range to help you get around town without burning fuel.
When will the EV Wrangler arrive?
AutoExpress says that the EV Wrangler likely won’t arrive until 2027 at the earliest.
That reasoning comes down to Jeep’s current model lineup and overall trajectory. The brand just released a mid-cycle refresh for the Wrangler JL, and both the Wagoneer S and Recon EV are on deck for production. Jeep will have to finish the life cycle of the current-generation Wrangler and roll out its other new models before switching to its EV Wrangler.
Until that happens, we’ll continue to watch how Jeep implements electrification across its model lineup.