- Jeep shared a glimpse of its electrification plans, including its ambition to launch four new electric SUVs by 2025.
- The company specifically discussed three of those models, including a Wrangler-inspired “Recon”.
- Stellantis wants to convert 50% of U.S. Jeep sales and all European Jeep sales to fully electric vehicles by 2030.
- The Jeep Recon and Wagoneer “S” battery electric models will be produced in North America in 2024.
- Reservations for both models open early next year.
- Jeep shared a smaller, sub-Renegade model called the “Avenger”, but that SUV will not come to North America.
The future of Jeep is now, and it’s electric.
Or, more accurately, it’s electrified. Jeep shared its forward-looking plans during its “4xe Day” announcement on Thursday. Among those plans, including the ambition to convert half of all U.S. Jeep sales to fully electric models by 2030, are four brand new battery electric vehicles. As it stands, we still won’t see any BEVs out of the brand until 2024, so parent company Stellantis will expand the Jeep’s plug-in hybrid range in tandem. The result? The brand’s entire portfolio will have a 4xe PHEV option by 2025 as well.
Throughout its presentation and the lead-up to 4xe Day, Jeep refers to the tagline “zero emission freedom”. That’s the idea wherein Jeep will still have its baked-in 4×4 roots, and still have enough range to maintain a practical presence as daily driven vehicles. Mind you, we do not have many actual numbers at this point, so exactly how Jeep aims to satisfy both ends of that EV ownership experience remains to be seen, for now.
First up: Meet the Jeep Recon
Right off the bat, before getting into grittier details, this Jeep Recon does not replace the brand’s iconic Wrangler. Rather, the design team drew inspiration from its halo to create an electric off-road SUV for production in 2024. To that end, it does still have removable doors and glass, and the automaker (as you’d expect) claims this is “100% Jeep 4×4”. It just happens to eschew internal combustion, as well.
While no specific numbers are available, Jeep’s official information included some generalized statements on this car’s off-road chops. It will have “true trail-rated capability”, including a Selec-Terrain traction management system akin to the what’s in the brand’s existing SUVs, including the Grand Cherokee and Wagoneer. It will have “e-locker technology” (no word on exactly how it works yet — those details are forthcoming), underbody protection, tow hooks and chunky off-road tires. You can’t help but think those knobby tires will inevitably impact range, though I suspect Jeep will lean into its trail-adjacent charging stations to some extent to assuage people’s fears on that one.
Another admittedly vague statement: The Jeep Recon will have “the capability to cross the Rubicon Trail” and reach each end with enough range to drive back to town and recharge. How does that translate into numbers? No idea! But at least it hints at decent, usable range. Again, we’ll have to wait and see for more details.
Other features Jeep mentioned are a one-touch power top, shown above, and the latest generation Uconnect5 infotainment system.
The Jeep Recon will show itself in production form next year, with reservations opening up at that time. Production will start in North America in 2024, though the automaker did not specify exactly where in North America it will manufacture this SUV yet (no, there wasn’t any mention whatsoever about Toledo).
A fully electric Wagoneer
This next one smacks a bit odd, especially for those of you getting used to the brand new (gas-powered) Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. This all-electric version is a completely different animal, codenamed “Wagoneer S” — I’ll get to why it bears that name in a moment.
As it stands, this SUV will also go into production in North America in 2024. Again, we don’t know exactly where in North America, but Jeep did say it will be sold globally in major markets, including Europe, like the Recon. Also like the Recon, this does not (at least immediately) replace the boxier Wagoneer, and is meant to reimagine the car for a new age.
To that end, we have “speed, striking and sexy”. That’s what the S stands for, according to Jeep chief designer Ralph Gilles. Jeep did actually share some targeted numbers here, including a 600 horsepower output and 0-60 in around 3.5 seconds. Range is also an important factor, where the company says this car should achieve around 400 miles on a charge. Granted, all these numbers are targets, so how this Wagoneer S will shake out in the real world is anyone’s guess at this point.
Unlike the current Wagoneer, however, this car will be 4×4 only (no dilution with single motor front or rear-wheel drive versions here). The signature LED grille will be a key element of this car, and it will pack a all-terrain management system, because it still has to at least someone touch on Jeep’s core philosophy as an off-road-capable brand at some point.
Finally, we have the Jeep Avenger
Chrysler buffs out there will immediately recognize this little tyke’s name. The subcompact, sub-Renegade Jeep EV officially gets the “Avenger” name, which I suppose is equally rambunctious for an SUV as its gas-powered sibling. We got a couple renderings of this car back in March, and as such the Jeep Avenger looks closest to production-ready as anything the brand showed off today.
That’s a good thing, of course, since this car will be the first to actually hit production — but not in North America. Instead, Stellantis will build the Avenger in Tychy, Poland, where it used to build the old “new retro” Fiat 500 hatchback. That’s a hint where the automaker plans to sell it, too. This car will hit showrooms across Europe and key Asian markets like Japan and South Korea, but will not go on sale here in North America at all. Jeep insists this is a “rightsized” model for overseas buyers, and figures we’ll be more interested in models like the Recon or Wagoneer S instead. Given the Renegade’s sales figures, they’re probably right.
The only number Jeep specifically mentions for the Avenger is range. This battery electric model should manage up to 400 kilometers (around 249 miles) on a charge. Other than that, the company says it will have “impressive ground clearance, breakover and approach angles for its segment.” Still, in a segment for most small SUVs are city runabouts, we’re curious to see how that translates into hard numbers.
Are you in Europe or Asia and interested in the Jeep Avenger? It will hit the Paris Motor Show on October 17, where you can actually see it in person. Beyond that, it will go into production later this year, with a goal to arrive in showrooms by early 2023.
More to come
At the moment, we’re still missing information on the fourth electric SUV Jeep aims to market by 2025. So, this really is just a glimpse, as we’ll have to wait a minute to find out more on that. More technical information on the cars it did show today should also emerge in the coming weeks and months.
A parting thought: If Stellantis does hit the milestones it sets out here, Jeep could be one of the first brands to introduce a range of electric off-road-capable vehicles. As it stands, there really aren’t that many players in the segment for early, trail-focused EV adopters. There’s the expensive GMC Hummer EV pickup (and an SUV in the pipeline), the Rivian R1T and R1S, and…that’s pretty much it.
Will we see more electric off-roaders in the pipeline? Almost certainly, though the question is where we will see them pop up first. Maybe an electric Ford Bronco? There’s an all-electric Mercedes-Benz EQG in the works, meant to hit the market around the same time as Jeep’s North American EVs. Where will the Tesla Cybertruck fit among the pack when it finally hits the streets?
I completely understand if you feel a bit (or a lot) of frustration at how frequently we discuss electric vehicles these days. You may be excited or dismayed at the transformation we’re facing, but the fact of the matter is that we’re still more or less on the cusp of a seismic EV shift. There’s still so much automakers haven’t launched yet, so it will still be quite a few years before we can switch from talking about what’s coming to discussing what’s available on the market to mull over right now.
By mid-decade, this space should get a lot more interesting.