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Jeep teases Wrangler BEV Concept, revealed in weeks

Jeep set to take next step in electrification journey with Wrangler BEV Concept

12 Feb 2021

JEEP has very quietly confirmed than an all-electric version of its Wrangler off-roader is in the works, with the green 4x4 concept set to be revealed at this year’s Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah.

 

Temporarily dubbed the Wrangler BEV Concept, very little has been revealed about the new project other than a single darkened teaser image and adjoining animation revealing a twin-motor drive system.

 

Specifics including battery capacity, power outputs, range, price and off-road capabilities will all remain a mystery until the official reveal in late March/early April.

 

Far from advertised, the new concept was first teased on Jeep’s new ‘The Road Ahead’ microsite; a landing page designed to outline its vision for the future, which, surprise surprise, consists largely of electrification.

 

The teaser image and adjoining animation are tucked away in a corner about halfway down the page, captioned by: “We plan to reveal a 100 per cent battery powered Wrangler BEV concept vehicle as part of the Jeep Brand concept vehicles at the Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah”.

 

Examining the 3D animation of the platform reveals the Wrangler BEV Concept does not sit on its own bespoke platform, but rather an improvised version of the regular Wrangler’s ladder-frame chassis with the battery broken into three sections and stowed under the floor in the middle and rear of the vehicle with a fourth and possibly fifth section housed in what was previously the engine bay.

 

Perhaps the most interesting feature of the platform is the inclusion of what looks to be a traditional transmission despite the electric powertrain, potentially pointing to super-low, off-road minded gearing, in keeping with the Wrangler ethos of off-road capability.

 

Styling-wise, the BEV Concept looks set to feature all of the usual design cues associated with the JL Wrangler, including the four-door body style.

 

Next to the teaser is a panel dedicated to showcasing how Jeep plans to support its new influx of 4xe plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and eventual BEVs, that being solar-powered chargers.

 

“Plans to install solar powered charging stations in support of the Jeep Badge of Honour trails across the U.S. are underway,” the caption reads.

 

“Look for them at iconic Jeep Brand locations such as Moab in Utah and the Rubicon Trail in California.”

 

It is extremely unlikely we will see any of these chargers in Australia in the near future however given the fact Jeep does not currently offer any electrified vehicles in our market, that is until the new-generation Grand Cherokee arrives with a 4xe powertrain early next year.

 

It could be even longer before we see the Wrangler BEV in local showrooms – if it goes into production – due to our lacklustre EV infrastructure in comparison to Europe, China and North America.

 

According to Jeep global president Christian Meunier, Australia “is definitely not ready for BEV” due to this lack of infrastructure and so “there’s no point in trying to push” that sort of product here.

 

Mr Meunier’s comments were made last month during a roundtable conference with local media about the future direction and plans for Jeep following the reveal of the new Grand Cherokee.

 

He said more support and incentives were needed from the government to expand Australia’s EV infrastructure and stimulate local EV sales.


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