The first all-electric jeep will debut in early 2023, and it will be quickly followed by a procession of additional battery-powered city jeeps.
Jeep is set to become electric in general. Barely a year after rolling out its first plug-in hybrid, the Wrangler 4xeit will add a plug-in hybrid version of is the Grand Cherokee later this year, with company officials suggesting that a Wagoneer 4xe is also underway.
But the SUV brand Stellantis will take things a big step further, it confirmed on Tuesday. During a 2-hour session outlining the Euro-American carmaker’s long-term strategic plan, CEO Carlos Tavares confirmed that a fully electric Jeep will roll into the showrooms in early 2023.
“It is the first of our comprehensive all-electric Jeep line that will cover all SUV segments by 2025,” said Tavares, noting that a second BEV will be added by 2024.
Dare to move forward
The Portuguese-born boss offered little insight into what the first all-electric jeep has to offer in addition to revealing a teaser image during the briefing “Dare Forward 2030” – with a second image to be added to the Jeep’s website later.
The two renderings seem to show an SUV in size somewhere between the current Jeep Compass and Cherokee models. It has many familiar Jeep design signals, including the iconic seven-door grille. But without a motor under the hood, the grill is sealed and carries a clear blue “e”, which signals that it is electric.
Overall, a careful inspection indicates that a number of adjustments have been made to improve aerodynamics and, in the process, to improve range. Unlike the Wrangler and Grand Wagoneer 4xe models, the all-electric jeep will ride on a new skateboard-style architecture, rather than sharing platforms with an existing SUV.
This allows engineers to move the battery pack and motors under the load floor. In turn, this approach will provide a lower center of gravity and free up space normally devoted to the engine compartment for extra load and a potentially larger passenger compartment.
Drive like a jeep
It is unclear how large the battery pack will be and how many motors can be used, but it is almost certain that there will be a version with at least one motor on each shaft to provide the electric version of four-wheel drive.
Asked what kind of experience Jeep will want to provide, brand manager Jim Morrison said the focus will be the same as with the 4xe models.
“We are pushing hard to build on what is natural for Jeep, and our electrification is contributing to our four-wheel drive,” Morrison said in an exclusive interview during last month’s Chicago Auto Show.
“We say ‘Jeep is freedom electrified’, and it creates the vision of being true to our brand and delivering freedom in a way that guarantees capacity improvements.”
That said, while the 4xe models only offer a limited range in all-electric mode, it is generally expected that the new BEV will deliver at least 200 miles per charge, and possibly more than 250, in line with broader trends in the market.
Big electric plans on Jeep
During his Tuesday presentation, Stellanti’s CEO Tavares said that the company plans to be 100% fully electric in Europe by 2030, with as much as 50% of sales in the US also consisting of BEV cars. The company develops four different all-electric architectures to cover its wide range of vehicles.
It will cover all 14 Stellantis brands, including Chrysler, which in 2024 will launch a version of the all-electric Airflow concept shown at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show.
At the same time, Ram announced that it will also release a BEV version of its 1500 pickup in 2024. And Tavares said that the pickup and van division will quickly expand the range of its own all-electric models, with a BEV version of each product line by 2030.
So far, Ram has only shown a rough reproduction of 1500 or pickup. In Chicago, brand manager Mike Kovals told GearJunkie that a working prototype will be unveiled later this year. And on Tuesday, Tavares said that the car manufacturer will start taking pre-orders long before the launch of the EV pickup.
Ram is also planning to get a hydrogen fuel cell version of his heavy truck. This allows motorists to drive longer distances than a battery model while they can refuel in about 3 minutes.