Jeep is going all in on electric SUVs starting with the Wrangler-like Recon

Jeep will introduce four new all-electric SUVs in North America and Europe by the end of 2025 as part of a broader strategy for electric vehicles to comprise 50 percent of sales in the United States and 100 percent in Europe by 2030.

Jeep, owned by Stellantis, showed the first images of two all-electric SUVs — the all-new Wrangler-inspired Jeep Recon and a new electric Wagoneer, codenamed Wagoneer S. Both models are expected to arrive in North America and other regions in 2024. The automaker will also to release a compact electric SUV, the Jeep Avenger, in Europe early next year.

Recon, Wagoneer S and Avenger

Important details, such as battery capacity, trim levels and price, are still being kept under wraps. (“Stay tuned,” said Jeep CEO Christian Meunier.) And the fourth model will also be revealed at a later date. But Jeep said it will “electrify” all of its models in the U.S., including a hybrid Wagoneer 4xe. The automaker aims to become the largest seller of electric SUVs in the world.

“The BEV acceleration is in full swing,” Meunier said during a briefing with reporters.

It’s a bold plan from a brand seen as lagging behind the rest of the auto industry when it comes to electrification. Most major automakers have electric SUVs and trucks in the pipeline, and many have signaled that off-road and adventure vehicles—which are Jeep’s bread and butter—are high on the list for electrification.

Meanwhile, Jeep has released plug-in hybrid versions of its Wrangler and Grand Cherokee SUVs — though the latter has been delayed reaching customers — and is planning an off-road version of the Grand Cherokee, the Trailhawk, that will also come with a hybrid engine. The automaker does not currently sell battery-electric models, although it has released several concepts.

But that’s about to change, starting next year with the Jeep Avenger available only for Europe. It makes sense that the automaker targets the European market first; Europe has a more mature EV charging network than the US, and EVs outsell gas models in many European countries, including Norway.

The Jeep Avenger will have a target range of 400 kilometers (248 miles) and will fit into the compact SUV market below the Jeep Renegade. Jeep didn’t provide any major details for the Avenger; the compact SUV will get a proper unveiling at the Paris Motor Show on October 17.

But it noted that while it won’t be available in the US, it will be sold in parts of Asia, including Japan and South Korea. The EV will begin production at the automaker’s plant in Tychy, Poland.

Recon was previously the name of an optional package for the Wrangler and other models that included a suspension-lifted vehicle body to accommodate larger tires. Now it’s the name of one of Jeep’s new EVs, which the company says will only be offered as a battery-powered vehicle.

Like the Wrangler, the Recon will be highly customizable, including removable doors and roof panels. Buyers will be able to “see some of the Wrangler DNA infecting the design of the Recon, and it’s not by accident,” said Jeep design chief Ralph Gilles. For example, the Recon will have exposed door hinges like the Wrangler – bucking the trend of sleek, aerodynamic body styles for most EVs.

Buyers will be able to “see some of the Wrangler DNA infecting the design of the Recon, and it’s not by accident”

The Recon will be another in a long list of rugged outdoor vehicles with the distinctive ‘seven element’ front grill. The EV comes with Jeep’s Selec-Terrain traction management system, as well as e-locker axle technology, underbody protection, towbars and all-terrain tires.

It will also feature the latest generation of Stellanti’s Uconnect software, which will include detailed travel guides of notable off-road trails.

The Recon will arrive in North America in 2024, but interested buyers can reserve one starting in early 2023. Jeep says the electric SUV will be sold in major markets around the world, including Europe.

The last EV to be revealed was the Wagoneer S – although that’s just a codename for now. (Gilles said the “S stands for fast, striking and sexy.”) The Wagoneer S, which fits into the premium SUV segment, will likely have a very large battery: Jeep says it’s aiming for a range of 400 miles on a single charge, 600bhp and a 0-60mph time of around 3.5 seconds.

The Wagoneer S will get a full reveal next year, but based on the teaser images, it looks slightly less bulky than its petrol-powered namesake. Gilles said interior space will be similar to the traditional Wagoneer, but dimensions will be slightly smaller, with two rows instead of three. The Wagoneer S will also feature an LED grill, which is a growing trend in the electric car market.

The Wagoneer S is likely to have a very large battery

Jeep executives didn’t respond to any questions about the price of its upcoming EVs, but if the Wrangler 4x’s window sticker is any indication, they won’t be cheap. The 2021 Wrangler 4xe Sahara starts at $52,520, the Rubicon at $56,220 and the High Altitude at $58,340.

The automaker has been mum on the Grand Cherokee 4x’s price tag, though experts predict it will start around $60,000. Executives also did not respond to questions about whether the new lineup will qualify for the new US EV tax credit, which has strict requirements for assembly and the source of battery materials.

Stellantis recently chose Kokomo, Indiana, as the location for its $2.5 billion electric vehicle battery plant. The facility will be built in collaboration with South Korea’s Samsung SDI, a leading manufacturer of electric cars.

There will obviously be hiccups and obstacles; the automaker is already dealing with delays in the launch of its Grand Cherokee 4xe hybrid, but Meunier said they should be hitting dealers right now. He also highlighted Jeep’s ties to its parent company, Stellantis, which is the fourth largest automaker in the world.

“Leveraging Stellanti’s global scale is a key point,” he said, “because it allows us to draw on all the resources we need while focusing on Jeep’s DNA and creating the best Jeep we can build today.”

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